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Caltech Engineers Build Smart Petri Dish

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Changhuei Yang

Caltech professor Changhuei Yang

Credit: Courtesy of California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers have developed ePetri, a device that can streamline and improve cell culture experiments by reducing human labor and contamination risks.

The platform consists of a Google smartphone, a commercially available cell phone image sensor, and Lego building blocks. The culture is placed on the image sensor chip, while the phone's light-emitting diode screen is used as a scanning light source. The system is placed in an incubator with a wire running from the chip to a laptop outside the incubator. As the image sensor takes pictures of the culture, the data is sent to the laptop, enabling the researchers to save images of the cells as they are growing in real time.

"What this technology allows us to do is create a system in which you can do wide field-of-view microscopy imaging of confluent cell samples," says Caltech professor Changhuei Yang.

The researchers note that ePetri also can be used for drug screening and detecting toxic compounds. They also say it could be applied to other devices, such as providing microscopy-imaging capabilities for portable diagnostic lab-on-a-chip tools.

From California Institute of Technology
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Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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