Smart computational light microscopes (SCLMs) of smart computational imaging laboratory (SCILab)
AbstractComputational microscopy, as a subfield of computational imaging, combines optical manipulation and image algorithmic reconstruction to recover multi-dimensional microscopic images or information of micro-objects. In recent years, the revolution in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), low-cost consumer image sensors, modern digital computers, and smartphones provide fertile opportunities for the rapid development of computational microscopy. Consequently, diverse forms of computational
... py have been invented, including digital holographic microscopy (DHM), transport of intensity equation (TIE), differential phase contrast (DPC) microscopy, lens-free on-chip holography, and Fourier ptychographic microscopy (FPM). These computational microscopy techniques not only provide high-resolution, label-free, quantitative phase imaging capability but also decipher new and advanced biomedical research and industrial applications. Nevertheless, most computational microscopy techniques are still at an early stage of "proof of concept" or "proof of prototype" (based on commercially available microscope platforms). Translating those concepts to stand-alone optical instruments for practical use is an essential step for the promotion and adoption of computational microscopy by the wider bio-medicine, industry, and education community. In this paper, we present four smart computational light microscopes (SCLMs) developed by our laboratory, i.e., smart computational imaging laboratory (SCILab) of Nanjing University of Science and Technology (NJUST), China. These microscopes are empowered by advanced computational microscopy techniques, including digital holography, TIE, DPC, lensless holography, and FPM, which not only enables multi-modal contrast-enhanced observations for unstained specimens, but also can recover their three-dimensional profiles quantitatively. We introduce their basic principles, hardware configurations, reconstruction algorithms, and software design, quantify their imaging performance, and illustrate their typical applications for cell analysis, medical diagnosis, and microlens characterization.