Ozcan Research Group at UCLA is using the portfolio of microscopes and RDT readers they have developed to study a number of important applications with a potential for significant impact. A brief overview of the results obtained so far is presented below.
Point-of-Care Diagnostics and Disease Surveillance
Point-of-Care diagnostics can improve therapies and lower the cost of healthcare delivery. Centralized data collection and analysis can help providers and public health authorities to track disease status in the population and spot emerging epidemics. The image below was obtained with Ozcan’s integrated cellphone-based RDT reader; it is representative of the type of information that could be available to, for example, county public health departments in real time to track incidence of infectious and other diseases.
Blood Cell Counting
Imaging and counting of blood cells is one of the most common and most important measurements in biology and medicine. Ozcan’s group and the spinoff company Holomic LLC are actively working to apply lensfree holographic microscopy to blood counting and to develop a commercial analyzer.
The images below were obtained with a standard LUCAS microscope and demonstrate its capability compared with a bulky and expensive conventional microscope.
Malaria is endemic in most countries in South America, Africa, and Asia, and it is a huge public health problem. LUCAS can help with a portable cellphone-based and low cost diagnostic instrument. These images were obtained with a High Resolution LUCAS and they show again excellent performance compared with expensive microscopes
Semen count and viability measurement is used in male fertility treatments. In animal husbandry and veterinary medicine, livestock semen quality assessment is of significant economic interest. It turns out that LUCAS microscope due to its holographic phase reconstruction provides much better semen imaging. And of course it is small and portable which is particularly important in this application- we were told stories of vets running for dear life ahead of a raging bull and abandoning their expensive microscope in the mud.
These images of a histopathology slide of a skin tissue were obtained with the Dual Transmission / Reflection microscope in the Reflection mode. Note that on the LUCAS image on the left it is possible to digitally zoom in to examine tissue structures in fine detail. With a conventional microscope on the right to increase magnification would require change of objectives which would limit the field of view to a much smaller area.
Water quality is a big issue around the world. Even in the US it is estimated that 30 million households would benefit from affordable water testing. Beach goers and users of water recreation would also benefit. LUCAS could be the solution as demonstrated in these images.
High throughput imaging for biology research
The images on the left are of C. Elegans, one of the favorite model organisms used in research. The images on the right are 3-D sections of the H. Nanna eggs obtained with a lensfree tomographic microscope. As always, LUCAS provides higher throughput at lower cost and smaller size than any other alternative.