Biomedical imaging and sensing using flatbed scanners
In this Review, we provide an overview of flatbed scanner based biomedical imaging and sensing techniques. The extremely large imaging field-of-view (e.g., ~600–700 cm2) of these devices coupled with their cost-effectiveness provide unique opportunities for digital imaging of samples that are too large for regular optical microscopes, and for collection of large amounts of statistical data in various automated imaging or sensing tasks. Here we give a short introduction to the basic features of flatbed scanners also highlighting the key parameters for designing scientific experiments using these devices, followed by a discussion of some of the significant examples, where scanner-based systems were constructed to conduct various biomedical imaging and/or sensing experiments. Along with mobile phones and other emerging consumer electronics devices, flatbed scanners and their use in advanced imaging and sensing experiments might help us transform current practices of medicine, engineering and sciences through democratization of measurement science and empowerment of citizen scientists, science educators and researchers in resource limited settings.