Ultra-compact Microscope without housing as well as a raw image and a stitched image  of a sample
© Fraunhofer IOF
Ultra-compact Microscope without housing as well as a raw image and a stitched image of a sample

Ultra-compact Microscope enabled by Microoptics

Raw image (middle) & stitched image (right) of a sample

Perspective view of the inchworm drive, showing NED block and the shuttle in the middle.
© Fraunhofer IPMS
Perspective view of the inchworm drive, showing NED block and the shuttle in the middle.

NED inchworm drive

Perspective view, showing NED block and the shuttle in the middle.

Compact Bioimaging Solutions

Portable, miniaturized digital fluorescence microscope enabled by micro-optics and MEMS actuation

Motivation: Portable microscopy solutions without quality restrictions

Light microscopy, a widely used tool in biomedicine, life science and material research, utilizes tabletop devices in dedicated laboratories or imaging units, which require taking the sample to the analytical instrument.

Modern applications such as point-of-care diagnostics or long-term cell culture monitoring demand integrated solutions improving portability and flexibility to take the imaging instrument to the sample.

Microscope size reduction by simply downscaling the optical elements does reduce either the available field of view or the resolution, both compromising overall imaging performance and analytical usability. Therefore, we focus on the development of compact digital microscopy solutions providing high-resolution imaging of large object areas via different imaging modes adapted for various applications. 

Applications for miniaturized fluorescence microscopes

Medical Diagnostics 

  • identification of low concentrated pathogens at point-of-care
  • virtual microscopy of whole slides for digital pathology
     

Life Science Research 

  • long-term live-cell culture monitoring
  • high throughput screenings via parallelized imaging
     

Environmental

  • Rapid-response wastewater and water quality analysis
     

Veterinary Medicine

  • on-site investigation of farm animal fertility 
     

Food & Agricultural

  • Local quality control of e.g. yeast 
     

Manufacturing

  • Low-profile microscopic integration for space-constrained material analysis