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As society struggles to continue to make strides in basic biological research and to continue to meet global demand for medical care at decreasing cost, optical technologies offer compelling solutions by providing detailed chemical and structural information about biological samples, often without the need for costly chemical consumables or labor and expertise-intensive biopsy procedures. In this talk, I will present our group’s work to develop and apply novel optical technologies for telepathology.
We developed three attachments to a commercial cell phone that transform the phone’s integrated lens and image sensor into a 350x microscope, visible-light spectrometer, and particle-sizing device. The microscope is capable of transmission, fluorescence, and polarized microscopy modes and is shown to have 1.5 micron resolution and a usable field-of-view of ~150×150 microns with no image processing, and approximately 350×350 microns when post-processing is applied. The spectrometer has a 300 nm bandwidth with a limiting spectral resolution of close to 5nm. The particle-sizing device records Mie scattering patterns from particles in suspension, and can determine their size with high precision.
We show applications of the devices to medically relevant problems. In the case of the microscope, we image both stained and unstained blood-smears showing the ability to acquire images of similar quality to commercial microscope platforms, thus allowing diagnosis of clinical pathologies. With the spectrometer we demonstrate acquisition of a white-light transmission spectrum through diffuse tissue as well as the acquisition of a fluorescence spectrum.