Engineers at the California Institute of Technology have designed a dime-sized lensless microscope able to capture high-resolution images of cells and pathogens. The low-cost, portable technology could be an ideal tool for use in developing countries, according to the linkurl:paper,;http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0804612105 published online today (July 28) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Despite the trend towards miniaturization evident in the popularity of linkurl:lab-on-a-chip;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/11747/ systems, attempts to make a miniature microscope have been stymied because of the expense of creating small, precise lenses and the space required for light to reshape between lenses. "You don't really need all those fancy lenses to do microscopy," said linkurl:Changhuei Yang,;http://www.biophot.caltech.edu/people/yang.html assistant professor of bioengineering at CalTech and senior author on the paper. Yang and his colleagues did away with lenses altogether and created an "optofluidic microscope," a tiny instrument that combines the technology of digital cameras with small-scale fluid flow, linkurl:microfluidics,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15690/ to...
First image- The optofluidics microscope on a chip Second image- Image of C. elegans captured by the microscope Third image- A rendering of the microscope design
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