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June 29, 2021 Tuesday 01:53:14 PM IST

IIT Hyderabad Develops Muscope, the Smallest Microscope

Technology Inceptions

IIT Hyderabad has developed the smallest microscope named Muscope which enables examining of microfluidic chips used in electronic circuits. It was made using a few of off-the-shelf electronic chips, namely sensor and microLED display, making it ideal for automated assembly and operation. It was conceived by Dr Shishir Kumar and his team of research scholars, Ms Ekta Prajati and MTech candidate Saurav Kumar. 

They used a micro-LED display to remove the bulk associated with the light source and at the same time to provide capabilities for computational imaging. The display consists of micron-sized LED emitters arranged on a rectangular array. The micro-LEDs can be individually switched on, and they are very bright. These unique features of the micro-LEDs allow good quality imaging in restricted space.

The illuminating light coming from a microLED can also be moved around in a two-dimensional plane, just by selecting a different microLED from the array. This movement can be used for capturing images of samples under slightly different lighting conditions. Such images can be fused to increase the resolution. The movement of light sources also makes it possible to capture images of widely separated regions of the sample, effectively increasing the field of view (FOV).

Ekta Prajapati, who did most of the experimental work, is excited about embedding Muscope in the microfluidic chips she has been developing. “Muscope will greatly simplify and automate our system. Environmental control can be local to the parts of the chips, multiple locations can be observed without any movement of the chips, and everything can be scripted. This will be a game-changer for many such instruments.”, she added.

Congratulating Dr. Shishir Kumar for this noteworthy work, Prof. B. S. Murty, Director, IITH, said, “IIT Hyderabad is committed to bringing the benefits of technology to the society. This new invention will positively impact many areas, especially, healthcare and life sciences research. Looking forward to its early and wider adoption.”

Hear from researchers, how the Muscope being developed and function: https://youtu.be/qTs3ogOG_zE