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Issue 20, 2012
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A mini-microscope for in situ monitoring of cells

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A mini-microscope was developed for in situ monitoring of cells by modifying off-the-shelf components of a commercial webcam. The mini-microscope consists of a CMOS imaging module, a small plastic lens and a white LED illumination source. The CMOS imaging module was connected to a laptop computer through a USB port for image acquisition and analysis. Due to its compact size, 8 × 10 × 9 cm, the present microscope is portable and can easily fit inside a conventional incubator, and enables real-time monitoring of cellular behaviour. Moreover, the mini-microscope can be used for imaging cells in conventional cell culture flasks, such as Petri dishes and multi-well plates. To demonstrate the operation of the mini-microscope, we monitored the cellular migration of mouse 3T3 fibroblasts in a scratch assay in medium containing three different concentrations of fetal bovine serum (5, 10, and 20%) and demonstrated differential responses depending on serum levels. In addition, we seeded embryonic stem cells inside poly(ethylene glycol) microwells and monitored the formation of stem cell aggregates in real time using the mini-microscope. Furthermore, we also combined a lab-on-a-chip microfluidic device for microdroplet generation and analysis with the mini-microscope and observed the formation of droplets under different flow conditions. Given its cost effectiveness, robust imaging and portability, the presented platform may be useful for a range of applications for real-time cellular imaging using lab-on-a-chip devices at low cost.

Graphical abstract: A mini-microscope for in situ monitoring of cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Apr 2012, accepted on 04 Jul 2012 and first published on 04 Jul 2012

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40345E
Citation: Lab Chip, 2012,12, 3976-3982
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    A mini-microscope for in situ monitoring of cells

    S. B. Kim, K. Koo, H. Bae, M. R. Dokmeci, G. A. Hamilton, A. Bahinski, S. M. Kim, D. E. Ingber and A. Khademhosseini, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 3976
    DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40345E

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