Ptychography Enables Lensless On-Chip Microscopy

The results of a successful demonstration of a lensless on-chip microscopy platform by a biomedical engineering lecturer at a university have been published in Lab on a Chip. He claims that his ptychography platform offers a low-cost alternative for disease detection while removing several of the most prevalent issues with traditional optical microscopy.

The platform uses a diffuser between the specimen and the image sensor or camera to magnify the tissue sample instead of using lenses. While the sensor captures the images, the diffuser randomly moves to various locations, gathering the encoded object data that will later be used to recover an image for viewing by clinicians or researchers.

He used ptychographic imaging, which usually illuminates a sample with a focused beam before recording the pattern made by the diffracted light. Ptychography calls for recording thousands of patterns as the sample is moved to various positions to fully recover a complex image, such as a tissue sample.

Ptychography has drawn growing interest from researchers worldwide, but its slow speed and need for precise mechanical scanning have prevented widespread adoption of the technique. He claimed that by bringing the sample near the image sensor, his ptychographic technology solves these problems. The team can use the full image sensor as the imaging field of view with this new setup.

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