The Lens-free on-chip Microscope developed by the researchers can be used for the wide-field computational imaging of pathology samples. The study was published on 17 December 2014 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The study was conducted by the team of researchers including Aydogan Ozcan, professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at University of California.
The Lens-free on-chip Microscope can emerge as a less expensive and more portable technology for performing common examinations of tissue, blood and other biomedical specimens to detect the presence of cancer.
The method may prove useful in remote areas and in cases where large numbers of samples need to be examined quickly.
Lens-free on-chip Microscope
• The Lens-free on-chip Microscope can be used for high-throughput 3-D tissue imaging to study the disease.
• The device works by using a laser or light-emitting-diode to illuminate a tissue or blood sample that has been placed on a slide and inserted into the device.
• A sensor array on a microchip captures and records the pattern of shadows created by the sample.
• The wide-field lens-free images produced by the microscope have sufficient image resolution and contrast for clinical evaluation.
The team tested the device by studying Papanicolaou smears, human breast section which indicated cervical cancer, tissue specimens containing cancerous breast cells and blood samples containing sickle cell anaemia.
The lens-free device produced images that were many hundred times larger in area than those captured by conventional bright-field optical microscopes.
Optical examination of microscale features in pathology samples is one of the gold standards to diagnose disease.
However, the use of conventional light microscopes is partially limited due to their relatively high cost, bulkiness of lens-based optics, small field of view (FOV), and requirements for lateral scanning and 3D focus adjustment.