Simple ultraviolet microscope using off-the-shelf components for point-of-care diagnostics
Wong, Cynthia; Pawlowski, Michal E.; Tkaczyk, Tomasz S.
At the primary care setting, where there are often no or minimal laboratories, examinations often consist of self-testing and rapid diagnostics. Because of this, medical devices must be simple, robust, and easy to operate. To address these concerns, an alternate fluorescence microscope design uses ultraviolet (UV) excitation, since fluorescent dyes that are excitable in the visible region are also excitable by UV. This may allow for the removal of typical excitation, emission, and dichroic filters as optical components absorb UV wavelengths and UV is not detected by silicon based detectors. Additionally, UV has a very low penetration into samples, which may allow for controlling the depth of excitation, and thus the imaging volume. Based on these ideas, we developed a simple fluorescence microscope built completely from off-the-shelf components that uses UV to image fluorescently stained samples. The simple opto-mechanical design of the system may allow it to be more compact and easy to use, as well as decrease the overall cost of the diagnostic device. For biological validation, we imaged whole blood stained with acridine orange and performed a two-part white blood cell differential count.