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Lego Quantitative Phase Imaging Microscope

Semester: Summer 2023

Presentation description

The use of microscopes is integral to biomedical research. Through microscopy we are able to measure the behavior of cells and visualize structures within them. Recently developed LED array microscopes, a class of computational microscopes, allow for a lot of flexibility due to their use of programmable cameras and LED arrays. This permits the same microscope to have different uses. LED array microscopes enable the use of 3 different types of microscopy; brightfield which is the standard form of microscopy and observes absorbing structures within cells, darkfield which uses the light scattered or reflected off of a sample that wouldn't be visible by a brightfield microscope, and finally quantitative phase imaging (QPI). QPI can obtain high contrast images of a sample, showing the light phase shift as it passes through the specimen. Using an LED array, quantitative phase images can be captured by combining 4 half circle patterns of LED illumination. QPI use is essential to the advancement in medicine and other science fields. However, there is a severe lack of advanced microscopy available outside of laboratory settings. So, developing inexpensive interactive tools will allow for more people to find interest in and be informed about this area of research. The overall goal of my project is to build a QPI microscope out of Legos for outreach, so that it can easily be replicated by others allowing them to understand how these systems work. The first task of my project was to replicate a previously published brightfield Lego microscope and verify that it works. After that my goal was to adapt that microscope to use an LED array for brightfield and then modify the design and program the LED array to capture darkfield images. My final goal is to alter that design, or prepare recommendations for how to alter the design, in order to achieve QPI. This microscope could be used as an education tool by creating an inexpensive type of QPI Microscopy, making this type of technology more accessible.

Presenter Name: Kristie Kulbeth

Presentation Type: Poster
Presentation Format: In Person
Presentation #87
College: Engineering
School / Department: Chemical Engineering
Research Mentor: Thomas Zangle
Date | Time: Thursday, Aug 3rd | 9:00 AM