General Lab Information

Technologies Available for License

2021-001: Smart Device-Based Dark-Field Microscopy

Invention: 2021-001

Patent Status: Non-Provisional filed on May 16, 2022

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TCP Technology

Figure: a) Plain view of a dark-field microscopy imaging apparatus used in conjunction with a smart device; b) a side cross-sectional view of the imaging apparatus illustrating dark-field illumination provided by a total internal reflection (TIR) mode inside a wafer with light coupling through light scattering at a side of the wafer.

In recent years, digital photography using smart devices such as smart phones interconnected with networks using wireless protocols has catalyzed the development of smart device-based optical microscopy using various after-market optical accessories. However, the available smart imaging devices are generally suitable for bright-field imaging but less so for dark-field since the latter generally requires special illumination so that the incident light can illuminate the specimen but will not enter the microscope. To effectively resolve this issue, an intense illumination is typically required. This invention describes an accessory holder that can be attached to a smart device to allow dark-field microscopy imaging, with the dark-field illumination provided by the device's own flashlight.


An example of a dark-field microscopy imaging apparatus as shown in the Figure is created to be attached to a smart device (e.g., smart phone) that enables dark-field microscopy imaging with illumination provided by, for example, a flashlight associated with the smart device. The smart device includes a camera and the flashlight as shown in the Figure.


Brookhaven's smart device-based microscope offers many useful benefits including the ability to use device's own flashlight as the illumination source for dark-field microscopy imaging and enhanced spectral resolution of the sample under study can be achieved even when using a low-cost, low-magnification lens.

Applications and Industries

The main application of this dark-field microscope includes rapid testing of biological materials in home and/or point-of-care settings.

Journal Publication & Intellectual Property