Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy on a chip

Lab-on-chipMicrofluidicOptical FiberSelective Plane Illumination MicroscopySPIM


The invention consists of a millimeter-sized optofluidic device (Lab-on-chip) that integrates a sheet of light illumination (SPIM microscopy) and automatic scanning of the sample in a microfluidic channel.

Technical features

The device, built using a femtosecond laser micro-fabrication technique, includes one or more cylindrical optofluidic lenses with an engineered profile to obtain an aberration-free illumination plane that crosses the microfluidic channel.
Biological samples are circulated through a microfluidic pump and observed with a traditional microscope. An alignment procedure by the user is not necessary, thus allowing a fast and automatic three-dimensional scan of the sample. A high-throughput high-frequency acquisition system (> 1 sample / s, demonstrated on intact cell spheroids, 250 µm in diameter by acquiring 100 frames per sample).

Possible Applications

  • Optical Microscopy;
  • Biology.


  • Compact and portable: can be used as add-on in commercial upright or inverted microscopes without the need of any motorized stage;
  • Versatile fluidic design: can image samples at different spatial scales, from single cells to organoids or embryos;
  • Versatile optical design: suitable for multiple sided illumination, multicolor excitation and double sided detection;
  • High-throughput: high acquisition rate (> 1 sample/s demonstrated on intact 250 µm diameter cellular spheroids and 100 frames/sample);
  • Modular: easy integration of multiple lab-on-chip functionalities.