Design and Development of a Compact and Rugged Phase and Fluorescence Microscope for Space Utilization
In this SBIR Phase 1 we propose to develop a novel microscope by integrating Fourier phase contrast microscopy (FPCM) and epi-fluorescence microscopy. In FPCM, the high degree coherence of low power laser source provides well resolved spatial frequency bands in the Fourier plane and the retardation is generated by photo-thermally induced phase transitions in a liquid crystal by varying the intensity of the laser. Further the controlled phase shift induced by the liquid crystal cell will be utilized for quantitative phase imaging. On the whole, the system offers simultaneous recording of Fourier phase contrast and epi-fluorescence images shot at the same time (at the speed of the camera). Similarly it is also possible to perform simultaneous quantitative phase and epi-fluorescence imaging in real time. The proposed microscope offers several unique advantages over the commercially available state-of-the-art technology. Our system is physically robust, user friendly, maintenance free, with no moving parts and frequent alignment, consuming minimum power. The modular system built with inexpensive optical components is versatile. It will be extremely useful in the biological and biomedical research labs. The system can be conveniently installed in International Space Station for high throughput live cell imaging.
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East West Enterprises Inc.
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