Giga-pixel fluorescent imaging over an ultra-large field-of-view using a flatbed scanner
We demonstrate a new fluorescent imaging technique that can screen for fluorescent micro-objects over an ultra-wide field-of-view (FOV) of ∼532 cm2, i.e., 19 cm × 28 cm, reaching a space-bandwidth product of more than 2 billion. For achieving such a large FOV, we modified the hardware and software of a commercially available flatbed scanner, and added a custom-designed absorbing fluorescent filter, a two-dimensional array of external light sources for computer-controlled and high-angle fluorescent excitation. We also re-programmed the driver of the scanner to take full control of the scanner hardware and achieve the highest possible exposure time, gain and sensitivity for detection of fluorescent micro-objects through the gradient index self-focusing lens array that is positioned in front of the scanner sensor chip. For example, this large FOV of our imaging platform allows us to screen more than 2.2 mL of undiluted whole blood for detection of fluorescent micro-objects within <5 minutes. This high-throughput fluorescent imaging platform could be useful for rare cell research and cytometry applications by enabling rapid screening of large volumes of optically dense media. Our results constitute the first time that a flatbed scanner has been converted to a fluorescent imaging system, achieving a record large FOV.