CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
- FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present application claims priority of German patent application number 103 32 603.0 filed Jul. 17, 2003.
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a stereoscopic microscope of a type having an optical inverter system for erecting a pseudo-stereoscopic image and reversing of the viewing beams thereof.
Ophthalmological microscopes as such are known. They comprise a main objective, a magnification system disposed thereafter, i.e. behind the main objective, and a binocular system with oculars (eyepieces). In order to provide a stereoscopic microscope in a magnification system, which is, for example, designed as a zoom system, the main beam path, which passes the main objective lens may be split into a number of beam paths. Further, ophthalmological microscopes are known, which allow for a simultaneous inspection of the object by a first user (main surgeon) and a second user (assistant).
Intraocular surgery requires supplementary optical systems, for example in order to microscopically inspect the fundus or parts of the vitreous body of a human eye, which are close to the fundus. These consist of lenses, which are disposed in front of the main objective at the side of the object.
A supplementary optical system of this kind is described in the brochure “SDI II, BIOM II” of Oculus Optikgerate GmbH published in 1998, as well as in U.S. Pat. No. 4,856,872. This supplementary optical system comprises a lens (ophthalmoscopical lens) to be positioned close to the object to be inspected, and a lens (reduction lens), which is positioned closer to the main objective.
From DE 41 14 646 C2 a solution is known, according to which an ophtalmological attachment for a surgical microscope is accomodated in an attachment housing, which is laterally positionable with respect to the main objective. The attachment comprises an ophtalmoscopical lens, an optical image erecting system and a slideable lens (correcting lens) for focussing.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The image erecting system is needed, because the supplementary optical systems reverse the microscopic image with respect to its height extension and its lateral extension, thereby giving a pseudo-stereoscopic virtual image. This means among other things that the front and the back of depth perception of the intermediate image created by the ophtalmoscopical lens are reversed. However, in order to allow for microsurgical operations, an erected, stereoscopically correct image is required. For this reason, in order to avoid the otherwise resulting pseudo-stereoscopic effect in viewing, a reversal (an exchange) of the two viewing beam paths (reversal of pupils) must occur simultaneously to the required erection of the image. An especially preferred embodiment of such an optical system for erecting images is known as SDI-System (stereoscopic diagonal inverter). A system of this kind is known, for example, from the already mentioned brochure “SDI II, BIOM II” dating from 1998. However, the use of such SDI systems is accompanied by considerable disadvantages for the microscope system or the image quality of the microscope. In particular, adapting the optical beam path of these supplementary systems to that of the stereo microscope has proved to be very cumbersome. Frequently, this results in poor image quality and field clipping, which is caused by insufficient mechanical adaptation of the SDI-system to the microscope. Further, the overall height of such SDI-systems influences the ergonomic overall height of the microscope in a negative way.
For a stereoscopic microscope, the present invention aims to invert laterally inverted, pseudo-stereoscopic image in a simple way, i.e. to image in a laterally correct and stereoscopically correct manner.
This aim is achieved by means of a stereoscopic microscope comprising an optical inverter system for erecting a pseudo-stereoscopic image and reversing the viewing beam paths of the pseudo-stereoscopic image, wherein the inverter system includes a deflector element having a focal power.
With the inventive measure of providing an optical inverter system for erecting a pseudo-stereoscopic image and reversing the viewing beams thereof, comprising at least one deflector element provided with a focal power it is possible in a simple way to reduce the overall height of the stereoscopic microscope as compared to conventional solutions. Hence, it is possible in an advantageous manner to reduce the ergonomic overall height of the microscope as well.
It is advisable that a stereoscopic microscope comprises two deflector elements provided with a focal power. Thereby, it is possible, for example, to deflect a beam path, especially a horizontally proceeding one, which is incident upon the first deflector element, initially into a vertical (perpendicular) direction, and subsequently, by means of a further deflection by the second deflecting element to create a beam path, which proceeds substantially parallel to the original horizontal beam path. Thereby, a laterally and vertically correct image is created along the beam path, which proceeds vertically between the two microscope planes. Therefore, this vertically proceeding beam path may be used in an optimal manner. Thereby, the overall size of a stereoscopic microscope may be kept very small, and an available construction space may be exploited in an optimal manner.
According to an especially preferred embodiment of the stereoscopic microscope according to the invention, at least one deflector element of the inverter system is designed as a concave mirror. Concave mirrors may be provided in a simple and cost-effective way, and may further be adjusted easily. It is further imaginable to employ deflector prisms designed to have a focal power as deflector elements.
It is advisable that the stereoscopic microscope according to the invention comprises a main objective, which defines a first optical axis, and deflector elements to deflect a beam path proceeding parallel to the first optical axis along a second optical axis in a first plane of the microscope, which extends at an angle, in particular substantially perpendicularly to the first optical axis, and subsequently to be directed along a third optical axis in a second plane of the microscope, which extends substantially parallel to and above the first plane of the microscope. A stereoscopic microscope constructed in this way has a small overall height, as compared to conventional solutions, because a major part of the necessary or appropriate optical components, may be provided in the first and second planes of the microscope, which preferably extend horizontally.
According to a further preferred embodiment of the stereoscopic microscope according to the invention, it comprises a magnification system, especially a zoom system, which is provided in the first or second plane of the microscope, along the second or third optical axis, respectively, and comprises at least two stereoscopic viewing channels. Such a zoom system may be positioned selectively in front of or behind the inverter system. In particular, it proves to be especially beneficial to position it behind the inverter system, because in this case the requirements for the deflector elements of the inverter system with respect to precision are comparatively low. It may also be considered to provide the magnification system between the two planes of the microscope along the vertically proceeding beam path. In that the magnification system is positioned accordingly, the overall height and/or the horizontal overall length of the microscope, may be influenced in the desired way.
It proves to be especially advantageous that at least one of the inverter system's deflector elements with a focal power additionally serves as deflector element for deflecting beam paths between the first, second and third optical axes. By means of such a multiple functionality of the deflector elements, construction space may be kept small in an effective way.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The stereoscopic microscope according to the invention preferably has an decoupling means to decouple an assistant beam path from a main investigator beam path. By means of such an decoupling means, which may, for example, be provided as a physical or a geometrical beam splitter, an inspection by the main investigator and an inspection by the assistant may be provided in a simple way.
The invention is now described with reference to the accompanying drawings. Therein,
FIG. 1 shows a lateral schematic sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a stereoscopic microscope according to the invention, having an ophthalmological attachment provided therebefore, and
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 2 shows the microscope according to FIG. 1 without ophthalmological attachment and accordingly adapted optical system.
In FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment of the stereoscopic microscope according to the invention as a whole is designated by reference numeral 100. The stereoscopic microscope comprises a microscope body 102, in which a main objective 2 and a magnification system 7, which is especially designed as a zoom system, are provided as optical components.
The microscope further comprises deflector elements 5, 21 a, 21 b. By means of these deflector elements, viewing beams 12 a to 12 h, which emerge from an object 40 to be inspected, and which at first pass the main objective 2 substantially (at 21 a) in vertical direction along the optical axis thereof, which is referred to as first optical axis 11 a in the following, are deflectable into two substantially horizontally extending planes I and II of the microscope (at 12 b, 12 d). It can be seen that the magnifying system 7, in the embodiment shown is disposed in the second plane II of the microscope. The optical axes in the first and second planes of the microscope are subsequently referred to as second and third optical axes 11 b, 11 d, respectively.
At the object side of the magnifying system 7 supplementary optical components are provided, selectively in the first and/or second plane I, II of the microscope, along the respective optical axes, which as a whole are referred to by reference numeral 8 herein, which comprise for example filters, laser shutters, optical dividers or elements for creating intermediate images.
The microscope shown is designed for simultaneous inspection of the object 40 by a main surgeon and by an assistant. To achieve this aim, a deflecting element or a decoupling means 9 is provided in the second plane II of the microscope, effecting the decoupling of the viewing beam path 12 g for the assistant with respect to the viewing beam path 12 d for the main surgeon. The inspection of the object 40 by the assistant takes place in a third plane III of the microscope.
The stereoscopic splitting of the (uniform) beam path 12 a, which is incident upon the main objective 2, may occur at an arbitrary position within the microscope housing 102 in a manner, which as such is known. It is advisable that the stereoscopic splitting is carried out by means of the magnifying system 7, which may comprise, for example, two or four stereoscopic viewing channels. It may also be considered to provide the magnifying system 7 with four stereoscopic viewing channels grouped in pairs, wherein one pair of stereoscopic viewing channels is provided for the main surgeon and the other pair for the assistant.
The provision of four magnifying channels within the context of the magnification system enables the implementation of a small vertical distance between the respective viewing axis and the object to be inspected both for the main surgeon as well as for the assistant. It is advisable that two magnifying channels for the magnifying system, in particular the magnifying channels for the main surgeon, proceed horizontally at the same height, whereas two further magnifying channels proceed parallel herewith, i.e. also horizontally, with a vertical spacing. These magnifying channels with vertical spacing are especially useable for the assistant. In this respect, it is especially possible that the magnifying channels provided with vertical spacing proceed above or below, respectively, the center of the connecting line between the magnifying channels for the main surgeon provided at the same height. Thereby, an especially dense packaging of the four magnifying channels is provided, whereby an especially small overall height of the stereoscopic microscope according to the invention may be achieved. For reasons of clarity, in FIGS. 1 and 2, only single viewing beam paths are shown. In particular, in the second plane II of the microscope, the viewing beam path is referred to by 12 d. As an explanation, it shall be noted that the two viewing beam paths for the main surgeon are arranged behind each other in the viewing direction of FIGS. 1 and 2, so that only one of these viewing beam paths can be shown. The viewing beam paths in the second plane of the microscope, which have a vertical spacing, and which, by the deflector element 9, are deflected into the third plane II of the microscope, are not shown in detail. Further, with respect to the preferred embodiment of the magnification system 7, the vertically proceeding viewing beam path 12 g is only a schematic simplification, since actually in this embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a total of two viewing beam paths which proceed vertically parallel to each other, are deflected to the third plane of the microscope. A complete illustration of this preferred embodiment of a magnification system is disclosed in DE 102 55 960, to which reference is made herewith.
By means of binocular tubes (not shown), the decoupling means 9 allow for a stereoscopic inspection of the object 40 by the main surgeon and/or the assistant.
It is advisable, that in order to obtain a further deflection of the stereoscopic viewing beam paths for the main surgeon, a further deflection element 6 is provided behind the decoupling means 9, by means of which the (stereoscopic) viewing beam paths (at 12 e) for the main surgeon can be deflected from the second plane II back to, for example, the first plane I of the microscope. In the first plane I, a further deflection element 16 is provided, by means of which the viewing beam paths for the main surgeon are deflected into a substantially horizontal direction again. The beam paths proceeding to a binocular tube (not shown) in plane I of the microscope are referred to by 12 f.
If, however, an inspection of object 40 by the main surgeon is desired in the second plane II of the microscope, the deflector element 6 may be omitted, or it may be provided in a semi-transparent or relocatable manner. In this case, the viewing beam paths for the main surgeon referred to by 12 h result.
For the assistant, a further deflector element 10 is provided in the third plane III of the microscope, by means of which the beam paths 12 g, which are decoupled by decoupling means 9 (and are substantially vertically proceeding), are deflectable to the third plane of the microscope (i.e. substantially in a horizontal direction). It is advisable that depending on the orientation of the assistant beam paths, the deflector element 10 may be pivoted about an axis 13 or an axis, which proceeds perpendicular to this axis, so that by means of the binocular tube for the assistant (not shown), an assistant's viewing is possible, in the example shown into the drawing plane or out of the drawing plane.
An illumination system of the microscope shown is as a whole referred to by 3,4, wherein a fiber cable for illumination means 3 is referred to by 4. By means of a deflector element 3 a, light from the fiber cable is incident, at a desired angle, upon the object 40 to be illuminated. The optical axis of fiber cable 4 is designated by 12.
The microscope 100 is further provided with a supplementary optical system 30, 32, which allows the carrying out of intraocular surgery.
The supplementary optical system comprises an ophthalmoscopical lens or fundus lens 30, and a correcting lens 32. The ophthalmoscopical lens 30 serves to optically compensate the focal power of the eye.
Since the ophthalmoscopical lens 30 and the correcting lens 32 are jointy used in intraocular surgery they may, by means of a pivoting mechanism (not shown), be pivoted out of the beam path 12 a from between object 40 and main objective 2 or out of the optical axis 11 a of the main objective 2, respectively. By means of this ability to be pivoted, it is ensured that microscope 100 can also be applied for other surgical interventions, which do not require such supplementary optical systems.
With respect to the operation of the supplementary optical system, it shall be noted that the ophthalmoscopical lens 30 creates a first intermediate image 31 of the object 40 before the main objective lens 2 of the microscope 100. The image 31 created by ophthalmoscopical lens 30 is vertically and laterally reversed (pseudo-stereoscopic). It is advisable that the correcting lens 32 is provided in such a way that it may be displaced along the optical axis 11 a, as is indicated by the double-sided arrow. By means of displacing the correcting lens 32, it is possible, for example, to focus onto a section of interest of the object or eye 40, without having to carry out adjustments to the optical system inside housing 102.
As explained, the intermediate image 31 is laterally and vertically reversed, i.e. pseudo-stereoscopic. In order to provide a vertically and laterally correct image, the deflector elements 21 a, 21 b are designed as concave mirrors (mirrors with a radius other than ∞). In particular, the following propagation of the viewing beam results: by means of the correcting or auxiliary lens 32, or, if applicable (subsequent to deflecting by deflecting element 5) of the supplementary optical components 8, the beam paths, which result from the vertical and laterally reversed intermediate image 31 are converted into a beam path, which is substantially parallel to the axis along the optical axis 11 b of the first plane I of the microscope. This beam path parallel to the axis is by means of concave mirror 21 a, deflected into a further intermediate image 22 in the vertical beam path 12 c between the two planes I, II of the microscope. This intermediate image 22 is laterally correct and vertically correct, i.e. stereoscopic. By means of the concave mirror 21 b, this intermediate image 22 is imaged to infinity in the second plane II of the microscope again (the beam path being substantially parallel to the axis). The magnification system 7 is preferrably designed as a four-channel zoom system along the third optical axis 11 d, whereby, as already mentionned, the stereoscopic splitting for the main surgeon and the assistant is effected. The double functionality of the deflector elements 21 a, 21 b should once again be noted. On the one hand, they serve to deflect the beam paths and thereby to optimally exploit the space inside the microscope body 102, on the other hand, they serve to invert a pseudo-stereoscopic intermediate image, whereby the number of optical components is reduced, as compared to conventional solutions.
Therefore, the deflector elements 21 a, 21 b both serve to deflect the respective viewing beam paths inside the body of the microscope, as well as to create an image or image to infinity, respectively, whereby an image erection of an inverted, pseudo-stereoscopic intermediate image is provided in a simple and cost-effective manner.
Therefore, according to the invention, it is possible to replace conventionally used SDI-systems, which comprise relatively complex prism systems and plane mirror systems, by simple convex mirrors 21 a, 21 b. It is also possible to provide the double functionality provided by the concave mirrors 21 a, 21 b by means of deflector prisms provided with a focal power. Instead of deflector elements 21 a or 21 b, it might also be considered to provide deflector element 5 with a focal power. Thereby, the inverted intermediate image would be created in the first plane I of the microscope.
If microscope 100 is to be used without the ophthalmoscopical attachment 30, 32, said attachment is removeable from the beam path 12 a, especially it may be pivoted out. A respective repositioning mechanism, which may be designed to be manually driven or motor-driven, is not shown in detail. In this case, as shown in FIG. 2, the deflector elements 21 a, 21 b, which are designed as concave mirrors, are removed from the viewing beam path (for example by pivoting) and replaced by conventional, planar deflector mirrors 22 a, 22 b. Apart from this, the configuration of the microscope according to FIG. 2 corresponds to that according to FIG. 1, so that a repeated detailed description may be omitted. It should merely be noted that in exchanging the concave mirrors 21 a, 21 b by conventional deflector elements 22 a, 22 b, which are designed as planar mirrors, further possibilities to couple out beam paths are given, as they are referred to as a whole as 50 in FIG. 2. To this end, the deflector elements 22 a, 22 b may be designed semi-transparently, whereby it is advisable to provide a further deflector element 51.
It is advisable that the deflector elements 21 a, 21 b and 22 a, 22 b, respectively, are coupled to the ophthalmoscopical attachment, so that in case the ophtalmoscopical attachment is removed from the beam path 12 a, the deflector elements 21 a, 21 b are automatically or motor-driven exchanged by the deflector elements 22 a, 22 b and vice versa. Thereby, if elements 30 and 32 of the supplementary optical system are not used, it is possible to also remove the focally-powered inverter system elements 21 a, 21 b and replace them with conventional planar deflection elements 21 a, 21 b in a simple manner. An electromechanical coupling 60 is shown in FIG. 1 for accomplishing the joint removal or insertion of the inverter system and supplementary optical system into or out of the beam path of the microscope.
Finally, it should be noted that it is possible to mirror-in data at the positions of the deflector elements 6 or 51. At these positions, it is further advantageous to employ an optical beam divider, for example for a documenting device.
List of Reference Signs
- 2 main objective
- 3 illumination means
- 3 a deflector element of the illumination device
- 4 fiber optic cable
- 5, 6 deflector elements
- 7 magnification system (zoom system)
- 8 supplementary optical components
- 9 deflector element (out-coupling means)
- 10 deflector element
- 11 a, 11 b, 11 c, 11 d optical axes
- 12 optical axis of fiber cable
- 12 a-12 h viewing beams
- 13 pivot axis of deflector element 10
- 16 deflector element
- 21 a, 21 b deflector elements (concave mirrors)
- 22 a, 22 b deflector elements (planar mirrors)
- 22 intermediate image
- 30 ophthalmoscopical lens (fundus lens)
- 31 intermediate image
- 32 correcting lens
- 40 object
- 50 decoupled beam paths
- 51 deflector element
- 60 electromechanical coupling
- 100 stereoscopic microscope
- 102 microscope body (housing)
- I, II, III planes of the microscope