Research ArticleImaging

Wide-field computational imaging of pathology slides using lens-free on-chip microscopy

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Science Translational Medicine  17 Dec 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 267, pp. 267ra175
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009850

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Widescreen Pathology

Imaging whole human tissues with a conventional light microscope can be cumbersome, requiring the user to stitch together 500+ individual small images to get a full view of the entire tissue. This microscopy and digitization process is largely confined to advanced laboratories in developing countries. Greenbaum et al. have developed a lens-free microscope based on low-cost holographic technology, which allows imaging of large fields of view—about 100 times greater than high-resolution conventional microscopes. The lens-free imaging uses a small chip, allows for 3D focusing through thick tissue samples, and can colorize the resulting images. With this device, the authors successfully imaged invasive human cancer cells, abnormal cells in Pap smears, and “sickled” cells in whole-blood smears, with spatial resolution and contrast sufficient for clinical diagnosis. In one demonstration, a pathologist was able to distinguish cancerous from benign human tissue using images from the lens-free microscope; the assessment matched conventional light microscopy in 74 of 75 images. With its wide field of view, high resolution, and speedy readout, this lens-free platform could benefit pathology laboratories in both developed and developing countries.

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