Scientists at the French research and technology organization Leti, a division of CEA-Leti, this week introduced a new video lens-free imaging technique. Introduced at Leti Innovation Days the microscope captures microscale features over a large field-of-view, providing the opportunity for real-time monitoring of cell cultures.

Announced at the start of Leti Innovation Days in Grenoble, the lens-free microscope can perform live capture and reach micron-size objects across a very large field of view (24 mm2). In addition, the technique enables time-lapse imaging of cell cultures over extended periods.

The technique provides multi-scale observation capability across two orders of magnitude, allowing researchers to differentiate between tissues and cells, and bacteria and viruses. It opens a range of applications in pharmacology and biotechnology, including drug screening and bioprocess monitoring, as well portable diagnostics.

“This is a very simple and powerful tool that fulfills the ‘simple, small and cheap’ criteria in an unprecedented way and will allow every researcher to image biology in a disruptive manner,” said Leti CEO Laurent Malier. “As a result, we believe that widespread use of this new microscopy technique will have significant impact on our understanding of biological systems.”

“This technique allows us to image and probe tissues, cells and even bacteria and viruses in an unprecedented way,” said Leti researcher Cédric Allier, who helped develop the lens-free system. “Instead of using bulky microscopes to image biological systems at very high resolution, the simple and lightweight lens-free microscope—which uses a CMOS sensor and a LED—can provide time-lapse movies of thousands of cells per image and monitor cell cultures in real time.”

Moreover, high throughput analysis of fundamental properties of cell populations can be performed without the necessity of markers, e.g. cell adhesion, cell division, cell migration and cell morphology.

Source: CEA-Leti