Guoan Zheng, a University of Connecticut (UConn) professor of biomedical engineering, has published his findings on a successful demonstration of a lensless on-chip microscopy platform in Lab on a Chip. Zheng suggests his ptychography platform eliminates several of the most common problems with conventional optical microscopy while providing a low-cost option for the diagnosis of disease.
Rather than using lenses to magnify the tissue sample, Zheng’s platform relies on a diffuser that goes between the specimen and the image sensor or camera. The diffuser randomly moves to different positions while the sensor acquires the images, gathering the encoded object information that will later be used to recover an image for viewing by clinicians or researchers.
Zheng implemented an imaging technique known as ptychographic imaging, which typically uses a focused beam to illuminate a sample and then records the pattern created by the diffracted light. To recover an entire complex image, such as a tissue sample, ptychography requires thousands of patterns to be recorded while scanning the sample to different positions.