Smartphone-based optical sectioning (SOS) microscopy with a telecentric design for fluorescence imaging

Jiao, Ziao and Pan, Mingliang and Yousaf, Khadija and Doveiko, Daniel and Maclean, Michelle and Griffin, David and Chen, Yu and Li, David Day Uei (2024) Smartphone-based optical sectioning (SOS) microscopy with a telecentric design for fluorescence imaging. Journal of Microscopy. ISSN 0022-2720 (

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We propose a smartphone-based optical sectioning (SOS) microscope based on the HiLo technique, with a single smartphone replacing a high-cost illumination source and a camera sensor. We built our SOS with off-the-shelf optical, mechanical cage systems with 3D-printed adapters to seamlessly integrate the smartphone with the SOS main body. The liquid light guide can be integrated with the adapter, guiding the smartphone's LED light to the digital mirror device (DMD) with neglectable loss. We used an electrically tuneable lens (ETL) instead of a mechanical translation stage to realise low-cost axial scanning. The ETL was conjugated to the objective lens's back pupil plane (BPP) to construct a telecentric design by a 4f configuration to maintain the lateral magnification for different axial positions. SOS has a 571.5 µm telecentric scanning range and an 11.7 µm axial resolution. The broadband smartphone LED torch can effectively excite fluorescent polystyrene (PS) beads. We successfully used SOS for high-contrast fluorescent PS beads imaging with different wavelengths and optical sectioning imaging of multilayer fluorescent PS beads. To our knowledge, the proposed SOS is the first smartphone-based HiLo optical sectioning microscopy (£1965), which can save around £7035 compared with a traditional HiLo system (£9000). It is a powerful tool for biomedical research in resource-limited areas.