Prototype Lens-free Microscope Made At imec


Recently, imec developed an on-chip lens-free microscope for large field-of-view live imaging at micrometer resolution. It can be integrated into life sciences and biotech tools, targeting multiple applications such as label-free cell monitoring, automated cell culturing, or automated high-throughput microscopy.

Compared to conventional optical microscopes, lens-free digital microscopy removes the need for expensive and bulky optical lens components to acquire and visualize microscopy images. In a lens-free digital microscope, images are captured on a CMOS image sensor, and digitally reconstructed using software.

Imec’s lens-free microscope features a comparable micrometer-scale accuracy as traditional optical microscopes. While being much smaller and less expensive, imec’s microscope captures a larger field-of-view in one shot, enabling shorter sample processing times. The lens-free microscope paves the way to new applications with living cells and tissues, says the company.

“Imec’s lens free imaging solution is now available as a full, ready-to-use demo kit evaluation system including a light source, image sensor, control and read-out electronics and a software interface,” stated Jerome Baron, business development manager of integrated vision systems at imec. “Companies can use it to try out their own applications, supported by our engineers to fine-tune the hardware and software and customize the systems toward their exact application requirements.”

Imec will demonstrate its lens-free microscope at SPIE Photonics West exhibition 2016 (booth 4144).

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