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Biomed Opt Express. 2018 Mar 26;9(4):1906-1915. doi: 10.1364/BOE.9.001906. eCollection 2018 Apr 1.

Smartphone confocal microscopy for imaging cellular structures in human skin in vivo.

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Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Mulago Hospital Complex, P.O. Box 22418, Kampala, Uganda.
Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 16 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022, USA.
Department of Medicine and Medical Specialties, Alcalá University and Ramon y Cajal Hospital, Ctra. De Colmenar Viejo, Km. 9,100, 28034 Madrid, Spain.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 550 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, 1630 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Arizona, 1127 E James E. Rogers Way, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.


We report development of a low-cost smartphone confocal microscope and its first demonstration of in vivo human skin imaging. The smartphone confocal microscope uses a slit aperture and diffraction grating to conduct two-dimensional confocal imaging without using any beam scanning devices. Lateral and axial resolutions of the smartphone confocal microscope were measured as 2 and 5 µm, respectively. In vivo confocal images of human skin revealed characteristic cellular structures, including spinous and basal keratinocytes and papillary dermis. Results suggest that the smartphone confocal microscope has a potential to examine cellular details in vivo and may help disease diagnosis in resource-poor settings, where conducting standard histopathologic analysis is challenging.


(170.1790) Confocal microscopy; (170.1870) Dermatology

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