Fast, high-precision autofocus on a motorised microscope: Automating blood sample imaging on the OpenFlexure Microscope

Joe Knapper, Joel T. Collins, Julian Stirling, Samuel McDermott, William Wadsworth, Richard W. Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The OpenFlexure Microscope is a 3D-printed, low-cost microscope capable of automated image acquisition through the use of a motorised translation stage and a Raspberry Pi imaging system. This automation has applications in research and healthcare, including in supporting the diagnosis of malaria in low-resource settings. The plasmodium parasites that cause malaria require high magnification imaging, which has a shallow depth of field, necessitating the development of an accurate and precise autofocus procedure. We present methods of identifying the focal plane of the microscope, and procedures for reliably acquiring a stack of focused images on a system affected by backlash and drift. We also present and assess a method to verify the success of autofocus during the scan. The speed, reliability and precision of each method are evaluated, and the limitations discussed in terms of the end users' requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-39
Number of pages11
JournalJournal Of Microscopy
Volume285
Issue number1
Early online date9 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • autofocus
  • focus
  • light microscopy
  • open hardware
  • open source

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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