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Zhao and Huang turn smartphone into portable digital microscope

Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Yi Zhao and Graduate Research Assistant Hanyang Huang have invented a smartphone-based, portable pathology slide scanner. In January, the pair received a $225,000 National Science Foundation Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I award.

Zhao’s technology utilizes small adaptive elastomer liquid lenses for microscopic imaging with high resolution. The scanner is roughly twice the size of a typical smartphone, much smaller than desktop whole slide scanners on the market and, therefore, much more portable. Zhao and Huang estimate the price of their device will be up to 80% less expensive than high-end commercial slide scanners, while delivering comparable optical performance.

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