Nanoparticle and biomolecule imaging has become an important need for various applications. In an effort to find a higher throughput alternative to existing devices, we have designed a lensfree on-chip holographic imaging platform operating at an ultraviolet (UV) wavelength of 266 nm. With a custom-designed free-space light delivery system to illuminate the sample that is placed very close (<0.5 mm) to an opto-electronic image sensor chip, without any imaging lenses in between, the full active area of the imager chip (>16 mm2 ) was utilized as the imaging field-of-view (FOV) capturing holographic signatures of target objects on a chip. These holograms were then digitally back propagated to extract both the amplitude and phase information of the sample. The increased forward scattering from nanoparticles due to this shorter illumination wavelength has enabled us to image individual particles that are smaller than 30 nm over an FOV of >16 mm2 . Our platform was further utilized in high-contrast imaging of nanoscopic biomolecule aggregates since 266 nm illumination light is strongly absorbed by biomolecules including proteins and nucleic acids. Aggregates of Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1), which has been linked to a fatal neurodegenerative disease, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), have been imaged with significantly improved contrast compared to imaging at visible wavelengths. This unique UV imaging modality could be valuable for biomedical applications (e.g., viral load measurements) and environmental monitoring including air and water quality monitoring.
Mustafa Ugur Daloglu, Aniruddha Ray, Zoltán Gorocs, Matthew Xiong, Ravinder Malik, Gal Bitan, Euan McLeod, and Aydogan Ozcan, "On-chip ultraviolet holography for high-throughput nanoparticle and biomolecule detection," Proc. SPIE 10485, Optics and Biophotonics in Low-Resource Settings IV, 1048510 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2018; Published: 13 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290521.
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