SPIE BiOS 2019
Conference paper

Stereo in-line holographic digital microscope

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Biologists use optical microscopes to study plankton in the lab, but their size, complexity and cost makes widespread deployment of microscopes in lakes and oceans challenging. Monitoring the morphology, behavior and distribution of plankton in situ is essential as they are excellent indicators of marine environment health and provide a majority of Earth's oxygen and carbon sequestration. Direct in-line holographic microscopy (DIHM) eliminates many of these obstacles, but image reconstruction is computationally intensive and produces monochromatic images. By using one laser and one white LED, it is possible to obtain the 3D location plankton by triangulation, limiting holographic reconstruction to only the voxels occupied by the plankton, reducing computation by several orders of magnitude. The color information from the white LED assists in the classification of plankton, as phytoplankton contains green-colored chlorophyll. The reconstructed plankton images are rendered in a 3D interactive environment, viewable from a browser, providing the user the experience of observing plankton from inside a drop of water.