World’s Smallest, Lightest Telemedicine Microscope Invented

Aydogan Ozcan, a UCLA engineer, has created a miniature microscope, the world’s smallest and lightest for telemedicine applications. The microscope builds on imaging technology known as LUCAS (Lensless Ultra-wide-field Cell Monitoring Array platform based on Shadow imaging), which was developed by Ozcan. 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. The lensless microscope, in addition to being far more compact and lightweight than conventional microscopes, also obviates the need for trained technicians to analyze the images produced. Images are analyzed by computer so that results are available instantaneously. Weighing 46 grams, 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.


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