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Leti and Cellmic to jointly promote lens-free microscopy

11 May 2018

Applications in low-tech environments for diverse diagnostics and biomedical sensing.

French research institute LETI, based at CEA Tech, Grenoble, France, and Cellmic, a company dedicated to improving patient healthcare using smartphones and biophotonics, have joined forces to accelerate the market adoption of their lens-free imaging and sensing techniques by growing Leti's patent portfolio with a core patent from Cellmic.

Pioneered by Aydogan Ozcan, who is Chancellor's Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, and his research group, this patented computational lens-free imaging approach reconstructs detailed images of specimens from their holographic shadows that contain unique 3D information of samples.

These an include such useful "field medicine" indicators as tissue sections, blood smears and cell cultures. Cellmic LLC, a UCLA spin-off, holds some of the core patents of this important computational imaging technique.

Lens-free microscopy has emerged as a powerful imaging and sensing platform that replaces bulky and expensive optical components that are found in standard optical microscopy systems with dedicated algorithms.

Established technology

Leti developed a lens-free microscope in 2012. Today the technology offers an ultra-wide field-of-view, tracking more than 10,000 biological, microscopic objects at a time per image, providing lab techs with a cost-effective, highly compact and robust solution.

The Cellmic patent complements Leti's IP portfolio and accelerates its ongoing valorization of its lens-free technology for diagnostics, biomedical sensing and related applications.

"Lens-free, on-chip imaging offers a very unique opportunity to bring advanced microscopy and sensing tools into your pocket with a fraction of the cost of existing technologies," said Ozcan, who is also a co-founder of Cellmic LLC. "We are proud to have made fundamental contributions to establish this technique, which has been benefiting researchers in both academia and industry at a global scale."

"Our partnership with Leti will help this powerful imaging and sensing technology to reach different markets through Leti's powerful collaborations with other companies in various industries," added Neven Karlovac, the CEO and co-founder of Cellmic LLC.

"Ozcan's research lab and Cellmic have done ground-breaking work in developing lens-free imaging techniques," said Jean-Marc Dinten, Leti Imaging department manager and international expert. "This core patent complements our lens-free technology development, such as point-of-care diagnosis for spinal meningitis."

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