Camera Phone Counts Infected Blood Cells

01 Oct
Camera Phone Counts Infected Blood Cells

While cell phone camera technology has been getting better and better, who would've thought that they would actually be able to help count infected blood cells without relying on lens optics? That's the discovery boffins from the University of California, Los Angeles managed to do using simple camera phone CCD sensors to distinguish between normal and infected cells in blood samples.

First published in the Royal Society of Chemistry's journal Lab Chip in 2007, the LUCAS technique, developed by UCLA researchers, demonstrated a lens-free method for quickly and accurately counting targeted cell types in a homogenous cell solution. Removing the lens from the imaging process allows LUCAS to be scaled down to the point that it can eventually be integrated into a regular wireless cell phone. Samples could be loaded into a specially equipped phone using a disposable microfluidic chip. The UCLA researchers have now improved the LUCAS technique to the point that it can classify a significantly larger sample volume than previously shown — up to 5 milliliters, from an earlier volume of less than 0.1 ml — representing a major step toward portable medical diagnostic applications.

I'll never look at my cell phone camera in the same way ever again...

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