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A dual-mode mobile phone microscope using the onboard camera flash (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Antony Orth; Emma R. Wilson; Jeremy Thompson; Brant C. Gibson

Paper Abstract

Mobile phones come equipped with a vast array of actuation and sensing technologies, making them an ideal platform for point-of-care diagnostics and information gathering. Mobile phone microscopes take advantage of the small pixel size on mobile phone camera sensors for micron-scale resolution. Focusing can be achieved with built-in autofocus and image processing can be done on-board, however, the illumination is typically introduced via an external light emitting diode (LED). These external LEDs are typically externally powered, adding bulk and cost to a system that is meant to be as affordable as possible. In this work, we present a mobile phone microscope that uses the phone's integrated flash as an illumination source, eliminating the need to engineer an external illumination into the system. Our design consists of a 3D printed clip-on module containing a lens, which together with the mobile phone camera lens acts as an infinite-conjugate microscope. The clip-on module functions as a basic sample holder, and contains a series of light tunnels that redirect light from the flash through the sample for brightfield illumination. Instead of mirrors and a condenser lens, diffuse reflection from the internal light tunnel of the plastic clip-on module both reflects and scatters light into a range of illumination angles – ideal for brightfield microscopy. For low-contrast samples, darkfield imaging is achieved with ambient lighting via internal reflection within the sample microscope slide. We demonstrate imaging and video microscopy of a range of samples including plants, cell cultures and cattle semen.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 April 2018
Proc. SPIE 10485, Optics and Biophotonics in Low-Resource Settings IV, 1048503 (5 April 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2289763
Show Author Affiliations
Antony Orth, Ctr. of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, RMIT Univ. (Australia)
Emma R. Wilson, Ctr. of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, RMIT Univ. (Australia)
Jeremy Thompson, Ctr. of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, RMIT Univ. (Australia)
Brant C. Gibson, Ctr. of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, RMIT Univ. (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10485:
Optics and Biophotonics in Low-Resource Settings IV
David Levitz; Aydogan Ozcan; David Erickson, Editor(s)

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