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CEA-Leti today introduced a new video lens-free imaging technique that redefines bio imaging, provides significant advantages over traditional microscopy, and opens a new range of capabilities for researchers, such as 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 (24mm2). 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.
Leti is an institute of CEA, a French research-and-technology organization with activities in energy, IT, healthcare, defence and security. Leti is focused on creating value and innovation through technology transfer to its industrial partners. It specializes in nanotechnologies and their applications, from wireless devices and systems, to biology, healthcare and photonics. NEMS and MEMS are at the core of its activities. An anchor of the MINATEC campus, CEA-Leti operates 8,000-m˛ of state-of-the-art clean room space on 200mm and 300mm wafer platforms. It employs 1,700 scientists and engineers including 320 Ph.D. students and 200 assignees from partner companies. CEA-Leti owns more than 2,200 patent families.
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