Recently, a novel optical imaging device which is directly integrated into a microfluidic channel and achieves submicron imaging resolution comparable to that of conventional microscopes was reported by Yang and others and termed Optofluidic Microsopy (OFM). This new compact imaging device functions as a lab-on-a-chip to capture very high resolution images of biological samples flowing in
microfluidicmicrofluidic channels. OFM system offers many advantages, among them: miniaturized design, low cost, high throughput, and nondestructive optical probing. But the key advantage of OFM is its ability to capture high (submicron) resolution images although it is free from any conventional optical lenses. Instead of resorting to bulky optics, OFM is based on optical sensing through a linear nanoholes array that is defined in an opaque metallic layer, patterned onto the bottom of the microfluidic channel and mounted on top of a linear image sensor. because of this nanoholes array, OFM imaging resolution becomes completely independent of the image sensor pixel’s size.
The first reported design of OFM system requires some modifications for real time operation. We suggested previously the utilization of 2D nanoholes array in OFM system to achieve a real time OFM device with acceptable frame rate. We modeled the structure of the real time OFM strucutre using a numerical optical simulator that is based on the finite element method to verify its operation. Our simulation results revealed some problems for the implementation of 2D nanoholes array in a single metal layer at the surface of the chip. So we presented a novel structure that solves all these problems and even offers more advantages by minimizing the required fabrication steps of the device.
PIs: Dr. Tamer ElkatibCollaborators: Prof. Rena Huang
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