Lensfree fluorescent on-chip imaging of transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans over an ultra-wide field-of-view.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0015955
We demonstrate lensfree on-chip fluorescent imaging of transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) over an ultra-wide field-of-view (FOV) of e.g., >2-8 cm(2) with a spatial resolution of ∼10 µm. This is the first time that a lensfree on-chip platform has successfully imaged fluorescent C. elegans samples. In our wide-field lensfree imaging platform, the transgenic samples are excited using a prism interface from the side, where the pump light is rejected through total internal reflection occurring at the bottom facet of the substrate. The emitted fluorescent signal from C. elegans samples is then recorded on a large area opto-electronic sensor-array over an FOV of e.g., >2-8 cm(2), without the use of any lenses, thin-film interference filters or mechanical scanners. Because fluorescent emission rapidly diverges, such lensfree fluorescent images recorded on a chip look blurred due to broad point-spread-function of our platform. To combat this resolution challenge, we use a compressive sampling algorithm to uniquely decode the recorded lensfree fluorescent patterns into higher resolution images, demonstrating ∼10 µm resolution. We tested the efficacy of this compressive decoding approach with different types of opto-electronic sensors to achieve a similar resolution level, independent of the imaging chip. We further demonstrate that this wide FOV lensfree fluorescent imaging platform can also perform sequential bright-field imaging of the same samples using partially-coherent lensfree digital in-line holography that is coupled from the top facet of the same prism used in fluorescent excitation. This unique combination permits ultra-wide field dual-mode imaging of C. elegans on a chip which could especially provide a useful tool for high-throughput screening applications in biomedical research.