, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 251-262
Date: 02 Sep 2011

Lensfree Optofluidic Microscopy and Tomography

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Microfluidic devices aim at miniaturizing, automating, and lowering the cost of chemical and biological sample manipulation and detection, hence creating new opportunities for lab-on-a-chip platforms. Recently, optofluidic devices have also emerged where optics is used to enhance the functionality and the performance of microfluidic components in general. Lensfree imaging within microfluidic channels is one such optofluidic platform, and in this article, we focus on the holographic implementation of lensfree optofluidic microscopy and tomography, which might provide a simpler and more powerful solution for three-dimensional (3D) on-chip imaging. This lensfree optofluidic imaging platform utilizes partially coherent digital in-line holography to allow phase and amplitude imaging of specimens flowing through micro-channels, and takes advantage of the fluidic flow to achieve higher spatial resolution imaging compared to a stationary specimen on the same chip. In addition to this, 3D tomographic images of the same samples can also be reconstructed by capturing lensfree projection images of the samples at various illumination angles as a function of the fluidic flow. Based on lensfree digital holographic imaging, this optofluidic microscopy and tomography concept could be valuable especially for providing a compact, yet powerful toolset for lab-on-a-chip devices.

Associate Editor Daniel Elson oversaw the review of this article.