Navigation Links
Optical microscope without lenses produces high-resolution 3-D images on a chip
Date:4/22/2011

UCLA researchers have redefined the concept of a microscope by removing the lens to create a system that is small enough to fit in the palm of a hand but powerful enough to create three-dimensional tomographic images of miniscule samples.

The advance, featured this week in the early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, represents the first demonstration of lens-free optical tomographic imaging on a chip, a technique capable of producing high-resolution 3-D images of large volumes of microscopic objects.

"This research clearly shows the potential of lens-free computational microscopy," said Aydogan Ozcan, senior author of the research and an associate professor of electrical engineering at UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. "Wonderful progress has been made in recent years to miniaturize life-sciences tools with microfluidic and lab-on-a-chip technologies, but until now optical microscopy has not kept pace with the miniaturization trend."

An optical imaging system small enough to fit onto an opto-electronic chip provides a variety of benefits. Because of the automation involved in on-chip systems, scientific work could be sped up significantly, which might have a great impact in the fields of cell and developmental biology. In addition, the small size not only has great potential for miniaturizing systems but also leads to cost savings on equipment.

The optical microscope, invented more than 400 years ago, has tended to grow larger and more complex as it has been modified to image ever-smaller objects with better resolution. To address this lack of progress in miniaturization, Ozcan's research group with graduate student Serhan Isikman and postdoctoral scholar Waheb Bishara as lead researchers developed the new tomographic microscopy platform through the next evolution of a lens-free imaging technology the group created and has been improving for years.

Ozcan, a researcher at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, makes the analogy that a traditional optical microscope is like a huge set of pipes delivering content, in the form of images, to the user. Over years of development, bottlenecks occur that impede further improvement. Even if one part of the system that is, one bottleneck is improved, other bottlenecks keep that improvement from being fully realized. Not so with the lens-free system, according to Ozcan.

"Lens-free imaging removes the pipes altogether by utilizing an entirely new design," he said.

The system takes advantage of the fact that organic structures, such as cells, are partially transparent. So by shining a light on a sample of cells, the shadows created reveal not only the cells' outlines but details about their sub-cellular structures as well.

"These details can be captured and analyzed if the shadow is directed onto a digital sensor array," Isikman said. "The end result of this process is an image taken without using a lens."

Ozcan envisions this lens-free imaging system as one component in a lab-on-a-chip platform. It could potentially fit beneath a microfluidic chip, a tool for the precise control and manipulation of sub-millimeter biological samples and fluids, and the two tools would operate in tandem, with the microfluidic chip depositing and subsequently removing a sample from the lens-free imager in an automated, or high-throughput, process.

The platform's 3-D images are created by rotating the light source to illuminate the samples from multiple angles. These multiple angles also allow the system to utilize tomography, a powerful imaging technique. Through the use of tomography, the system is able to produce 3-D images without sacrificing resolution.

"The field of view of lens-based microscopes is limited because the lens focuses on a narrow area of a sample," Bishara said. "A lens-free microscope has both a much larger field of view and depth of field because the imaging is done by the digital sensor array and is not constrained by a lens."


'/>"/>

Contact: Mike Rodewald
mrodewald@cnsi.ucla.edu
310-267-5883
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Tying the knot with computer-generated holograms: Winding optical path moves matter
2. Optical water quality assessment
3. Optical technique reveals unnexpected complexity in mammalian olfactory coding
4. Optical imaging technique for angioplasty
5. Applied physicists create building blocks for a new class of optical circuits
6. Optical Legos: Building nanoshell structures
7. Frost & Sullivan Recognizes MIRTEC With the 2009 Award for Automated Optical Inspection Product Innovation of the Year
8. Strained quantum dots show new optical properties
9. Femtomolar optical tweezers may enable sensitive blood tests
10. Breakthrough optical technology to assess colon cancer risk, accuracy
11. Big size multitouch display turned into a microscope
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2016)... March 9, 2016  Crossmatch ® , a ... solutions, today announced the addition of smart features ... multi-factor authentication platform. New contextual and application-specific ... step-up security where it,s needed most — while ... DC . --> Washington, ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... 2016  2016FLEX, organized by FlexTech, a SEMI ... in flexible, hybrid and printed electronics. More than ... have gathered for short courses, technical session, exhibits, ... The Flex Conference celebrates its 15 th ... organizations, and universities contributing to the adoption of ...
(Date:3/2/2016)... DUBLIN , March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the "Global Biometrics ... to their offering. --> ... the "Global Biometrics as a Service ... --> Research and Markets ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Leading ... 2016 on May 31st and June 1st at The Four Seasons Hotel Boston. ... in the life sciences, offering exclusive access to key decision makers who influence ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016 ... Assessing Developers and Producers of Those Competitor Biologics  ... to Companies, Activities and Prospects ,  Who ... companies? And what are their sales potentials? Discover, ... you see results, trends, opportunities and revenue forecasting. ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... YORK , May 2, 2016 ... announces that its technology partner Mannin Research Inc. will ... Ophthalmology (ARVO), which takes place from May 1-5, 2016 ... executives will be meeting with its vendors and research ... explore business development goals and other collaborative opportunities for ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 30, 2016 , ... The MIT ... textile design, the bioLogic team explored how bacterial properties can be applied to fabric ... using Natto bacteria, which move in response to humidity change. The team harvested Natto ...
Breaking Biology Technology: