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Lab Chip. 2011 Apr 7;11(7):1276-9. doi: 10.1039/c0lc00684j. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Holographic pixel super-resolution in portable lensless on-chip microscopy using a fiber-optic array.

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Electrical Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


We report a portable lensless on-chip microscope that can achieve <1 µm resolution over a wide field-of-view of ∼ 24 mm(2) without the use of any mechanical scanning. This compact on-chip microscope weighs ∼ 95 g and is based on partially coherent digital in-line holography. Multiple fiber-optic waveguides are butt-coupled to light emitting diodes, which are controlled by a low-cost micro-controller to sequentially illuminate the sample. The resulting lensfree holograms are then captured by a digital sensor-array and are rapidly processed using a pixel super-resolution algorithm to generate much higher resolution holographic images (both phase and amplitude) of the objects. This wide-field and high-resolution on-chip microscope, being compact and light-weight, would be important for global health problems such as diagnosis of infectious diseases in remote locations. Toward this end, we validate the performance of this field-portable microscope by imaging human malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) in thin blood smears. Our results constitute the first-time that a lensfree on-chip microscope has successfully imaged malaria parasites.

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