"Confocal microscopy"
D Semwogerere & ER Weeks, in Encyclopedia of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, eds. G. Wnek and G. Bowlin (Taylor & Francis, 2005); online at: dekker.com

A confocal microscope creates sharp images of a specimen that would otherwise appear blurred when viewed with a conventional microscope. This is achieved by excluding most of the light from the specimen that is not from the microscope's focal plane. The image has less haze and better contrast than that of a conventional microscope and represents a thin cross-section of the specimen. Thus, apart from allowing better observation of fine details it is possible to build three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of a volume of the specimen by assembling a series of thin slices taken along the vertical axis.