A New Tool for TeleMedicine

September 22, 2009


Wiesner Room, 2nd Floor, MIT Media Lab


Despite the rapid progress and the recent renaissance that we have been
experiencing in optical microscopy and imaging, most of the advanced imaging modalities still require complex and costly set-ups that unfortunately limit their use beyond well equipped laboratories. In the meantime, microscopy and diagnostics in resource-limited settings have requirements significantly different from those encountered in advanced laboratories, and such imaging devices should be cost-effective, compact, light-weight, and appropriately accurate to be usable by minimally trained personnel. Towards this end, here we present an on-chip cytometry platform that utilizes cost-effective and compact components to enable digital recognition and microscopic imaging of cells with sub-cellular resolution over a large field of view without the need for any lenses, bulky optical components or coherent sources such as lasers. This holographic imaging and diagnostic modality has orders of magnitude improved light collection efficiency and is very robust to misalignments which eliminates potential imaging artifacts or the need for realignment, making it highly suitable for field use. We demonstrate the performance of this platform for microscopic imaging and automated counting of whole blood cells with minimal sample preparation steps yielding spatial information at the sub-cellular level. Because this platform utilizes compact and cost-effective components that are also misalignment tolerant it may provide an important toolset for telemedicine based cytometry and diagnostics applications especially in resource poor settings for various global health problems such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis.


Prof. Aydogan Ozcan received his PhD degree from Stanford University's electrical engineering department in 2005. After a short post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University, he was appointed as a research faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Wellman Center for Photomedicine in 2006. Dr. Ozcan joined UCLA in the summer of 2007, where he is currently leading the Bio- and Nano-Photonics Laboratory at the Electrical Engineering Department. Ozcan’s research group is also part of UCLA California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), where he is currently serving as a member of the research committee. Dr. Ozcan holds 14 US patents, 1 UK patent, and another 9 pending patent applications for his inventions in nanoscopy, wide-field imaging, nonlinear optics, fiber optics, and optical coherence tomography. All of his patents are currently licensed by Northrop Grumman Corporation, which is the leading defense company in US. He is also author of one book and the co-author of more than 70 peer-reviewed research articles in major scientific journals and conferences. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation, and is a member of the program committee of SPIE Photonics West Conference, SPIE International Symposium on Defense, Security and Sensing, as well as the IEEE Photonics Society Annual Meeting. He also serves as a panelist and a reviewer for National Science Foundation, NIH and for Harvard-MIT Innovative Technology for Medicine Program. Ozcan is also the general co-chair of 2010 IEEE Winter Topical Meeting on Advanced Imaging in BioPhotonics. For his work on lensfree on-chip imaging and diagnostic tools, Ozcan received the 2008 Okawa Foundation Research Award, given by the Okawa Foundation, in Japan. He is also the winner of the 2009 Wireless Innovation Project organized by the Vodafone Americas Foundation. In addition, he received the 2009 ONR Young Investigator Award, the 2009 IEEE Photonics Society’s (LEOS) Young Investigator Award and MIT’s TR35 Award for his pioneering contributions to non-destructive nonlinear material characterization and near-field and on-chip imaging & diagnostics. He is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation Award on "Biophotonics, Advanced Imaging, and Sensing for Human Health" for his on-chip plasmonic microscopy work. Ozcan was also awarded the Presidential Fellowship from the Turkish Ministry of Education in 1996 (declined). Ozcan is a member of IEEE, LEOS, EMBS, OSA, SPIE and BMES.

Host/Chair: Ramesh Raskar

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