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Smaller, denser, better illuminators for computational microscopy

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Seeking to expand the possibilities offered by programmable illumination, a group of researchers at the University of Connecticut developed a strategy for constructing and calibrating freeform illuminators offering greater flexibility for computational microscopy. Their calibration method uses a blood-coated sensor for reconstruction of light source positions.
Seeking to expand the possibilities offered by programmable illumination, a group of researchers at the University of Connecticut developed a strategy for constructing and calibrating freeform illuminators offering greater flexibility for computational microscopy. Their calibration method uses a blood-coated sensor for reconstruction of light source positions.

They demonstrated the use of calibrated freeform illuminators for Fourier ptychographic microscopy, 3D tomographic imaging and on-chip microscopy and used a calibrated freeform illuminator in an experiment to track bacterial growth.
The group’s research was published Feb. 20 in Intelligent Computing.
New possibilities for experimental setup using freeform illumination allow not only more flexibility but also greater efficiency: „With this platform, we can start to transit Petri-dish-based experiments from the traditional labor-intensive process to an automated and streamlined process,“ the research paper states.
Programmable light sources simplify the work of illuminating samples in different kinds of microscopy contexts, but conventional programmable arrays consist of a flat, fixed grid of individual lights.

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