Wide-field, high-resolution lensless on-chip microscopy via near-field blind ptychographic modulation†
We report a novel lensless on-chip microscopy platform based on near-field blind ptychographic modulation. In this platform, we place a thin diffuser in between the object and the image sensor for light wave modulation. By blindly scanning the unknown diffuser to different x–y positions, we acquire a sequence of modulated intensity images for quantitative object recovery. Different from previous ptychographic implementations, we employ a unit magnification configuration with a Fresnel number of ∼50 000, which is orders of magnitude higher than those of previous ptychographic setups. The unit magnification configuration allows us to have the entire sensor area, 6.4 mm by 4.6 mm, as the imaging field of view. The ultra-high Fresnel number enables us to directly recover the positional shift of the diffuser in the phase retrieval process, addressing the positioning accuracy issue plaguing regular ptychographic experiments. In our implementation, we use a low-cost, DIY scanning stage to perform blind diffuser modulation. Precise mechanical scanning that is critical in conventional ptychography experiments is no longer needed in our setup. We further employ an up-sampling phase retrieval scheme to bypass the resolution limit set by the imager pixel size and demonstrate a half-pitch resolution of 0.78 μm. We validate the imaging performance via in vitro cell cultures, transparent and stained tissue sections, and a thick biological sample. We show that the recovered quantitative phase map can be used to perform effective cell segmentation of a dense yeast culture. We also demonstrate 3D digital refocusing of the thick biological sample based on the recovered wavefront. The reported platform provides a cost-effective and turnkey solution for large field-of-view, high-resolution, and quantitative on-chip microscopy. It is adaptable for a wide range of point-of-care-, global-health-, and telemedicine-related applications.