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UCLA engineer invents world's smallest, lightest telemedicine microscope
Date:4/22/2010

Aydogan Ozcan, whose invention of a novel lensless imaging technology for use in telemedicine could radically transform global health care, has now taken his work a step further ― or tinier: The UCLA engineer has created a miniature microscope, the world's smallest and lightest for telemedicine applications.

The microscope, unveiled in a paper published online in the journal Lab on a Chip, builds on imaging technology known as LUCAS (Lensless Ultra-wide-field Cell Monitoring Array platform based on Shadow imaging), which was developed by Ozcan, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and a researcher at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute.

Instead of using a lens to magnify objects, LUCAS generates holographic images of microparticles or cells by employing a light-emitting diode to illuminate the objects and a digital sensor array to capture their images. The technology can be used to image blood samples or other fluids, even in Third World countries.

"This is a very capable and yet cost-effective microscope, shrunk into a very small package," Ozcan said. "Our goal with this project was to develop a device that can be used to improve health outcomes in resource-limited settings."

The lensless microscope, in addition to being far more compact and lightweight than conventional microscopes, also obviates the need for a trained technicians to analyze the images produced ― images are analyzed by computer so that results are available instantaneously.

Weighing 46 grams ― approximately as much as a large egg ― the microscope is a self-contained imaging device. The only external attachments necessary are a USB connection to a smart-phone, PDA or computer, which supplies the microscope with power and allows images to be uploaded for conversion into results and then sent to a hospital. Samples are loaded
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Contact: Jennifer Marcus
jmarcus@cnsi.ucla.edu
310-267-4839
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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