Navigation Links
Pixel perfect: Cornell develops a lens-free, pinhead-size camera

ITHACA, N.Y. It's like a Brownie camera for the digital age: The microscopic device fits on the head of a pin, contains no lenses or moving parts, costs pennies to make and this Cornell-developed camera could revolutionize an array of science from surgery to robotics.

The camera was invented in the lab of Alyosha Molnar, Cornell assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and developed by a group led by Patrick Gill, a postdoctoral associate. Their working prototype, detailed online in the journal Optics Letters (July 6, 2011), is 100th of a millimeter thick, and one-half millimeter on each side. The camera resolves images about 20 pixels across not portrait studio quality, but enough to shed light on previously hard-to-see things.

"It's not going to be a camera with which people take family portraits, but there are a lot of applications out there that require just a little bit of dim vision," Gill said.

In fact, Gill, whose other research interests involve making sense of how the brain's neurons fire under certain stimuli, began this invention as a side project related to work on developing lens-less implantable systems for imaging brain activity. This type of imaging system could be useful as part of an implantable probe for imaging neurons that have been modified to glow when they are active.

Gill's camera is just a flat piece of doped silicon, which looks something like a tiny CD, with no parts that require off-chip manufacturing. As a result, it costs just a few cents to make and is incredibly small and light, as opposed to conventional small cameras on chips that cost a dollar or more and require bulky focusing optics.

The scientists call their camera a Planar Fourier Capture Array (PFCA) because it uses the principles of the Fourier transform, which is a mathematical tool that allows multiple ways of capturing the same information. Each pixel in the PFCA reports one component of the Fourier transform of the image being detected by being sensitive to a unique blend of incident angles.

While Fourier components themselves are sometimes directly useful, a bit of computation can also transform Fourier components into an image.

The scientists will continue working to improve the camera's resolution and efficiency, but they think their concept can lead to a myriad of applications. It could be a component in any cheap electronic system in devices that, for example, detect the angle of the sun or a micro-robot that requires a simple visual system to navigate.


Contact: Blaine Friedlander
Cornell University

Related biology technology :

1. Pixel Bridge Works With Anika Therapeutics to Launch New Website
2. Glowing Cornell dots -- a potential cancer diagnostic tool set for human trials
3. Under new leadership, Kavli Institute at Cornell evolves from a think tank to a proving ground
4. Gamida Cell Announces Feasibility Study With Weill Cornell Medical College
5. Polycystic Kidney Disease Assay at Cornell University Uses Transgenomics Surveyor Nuclease & WAVE Technology
6. Veredus Laboratories Develops Lab-on-Chip Solution to Detect and Differentiate Several Food-Borne Pathogens, Including Escherichia coli (E. coli)
7. University of Houston develops method for creating single-crystal arrays of graphene
8. NJIT professor develops a biologically inspired catalyst, an active yet inert material
9. New England Biolabs Develops Novel Small RNA NGS Protocol: Reagents Improve Yield and Decrease Adaptor-Dimer Formation
10. Pitt-led team develops nanoscale light sensor compatible with Etch-a-Sketch nanoelectronic platform
11. Transgenomic Develops New Assays to Detect EGFR Mutations Using COLD-PCR
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) ... annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The conference took place in ... largest number of attendees in more than a decade. , “The 2015 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research ... announced that the company has set a new quarterly earnings record ... quarter growth posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015. ... Mexico , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and ... to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their ... votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SHPG ) announced today that Jeff ... 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in New York ... a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ) announced ... in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Today, ... announced a partnership with 2XU, a global leader ... deliver a smart hat with advanced bio-sensing technology. ... other athletes to monitor key biometrics to improve ... strategic partnership, the two companies will bring together the ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... , October 26, 2015 ... --> adds Biometrics Market ... 2021 as well as Emerging Biometrics ... reports to its collection of IT ... . --> ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... and GOLETA, California , October ... conference, BIOPAC and SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) announce a mobile ... tracking data captured during interactive real-world tasks ... play integration of their established wearable solutions for eye ... synchronize gaze behavior captured with SMI Eye Tracking ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):