Smartphone based hand-held quantitative phase microscope using the transport of intensity equation method†
In order to realize high contrast imaging with portable devices for potential mobile healthcare, we demonstrate a hand-held smartphone based quantitative phase microscope using the transport of intensity equation method. With a cost-effective illumination source and compact microscope system, multi-focal images of samples can be captured by the smartphone’s camera via manual focusing. Phase retrieval is performed using a self-developed Android application, which calculates sample phases from multi-plane intensities via solving the Poisson equation. We test the portable microscope using a random phase plate with known phases, and to further demonstrate its performance, a red blood cell smear, a Pap smear and monocot root and broad bean epidermis sections are also successfully imaged. Considering its advantages as an accurate, high-contrast, cost-effective and field-portable device, the smartphone based hand-held quantitative phase microscope is a promising tool which can be adopted in the future in remote healthcare and medical diagnosis.