Leti partners with UCLA spin-off on lens-free imaging technology

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French research institute Leti is partnering with UCLA spin-off Cellmic, in order to help accelerate the market adoption of the firm's lens-free on-chip diagnostic technology, which it plans to incorporate into pocket-sized devices. 

Cellmic's computational lens-free imaging approach, developed by a UCLA team led by chancellor's professor Aydogan Ozcan, reconstructs detailed images of specimens from their holographic shadows that contain unique 3D information of samples, such as tissue sections, blood smears and cell cultures. Cellmic holds some of the core patents of this important computational imaging technique.

Lens-free microscopy has emerged as a powerful imaging and sensing platform that replaces bulky and expensive optical components that are found in standard optical microscopy systems with dedicated algorithms.

Leti developed a lens-free microscope in 2012. Today, the technology offers an ultra-wide field-of-view, tracking more than 10,000 biological, microscopic objects at a time per image, providing lab techs with a cost-effective, highly compact and robust solution. The Cellmic patent complements Leti’s IP portfolio and accelerates its ongoing valorisation of its lens-free technology for diagnostics, biomedical sensing and related applications.

'Lens-free, on-chip imaging offers a very unique opportunity to bring advanced microscopy and sensing tools into your pocket with a fraction of the cost of existing technologies,' said Ozcan, who is also a co-founder of Cellmic. 

Neven Karlovac, CEO and co-founder of Cellmic, added: 'Our partnership with Leti will help this powerful imaging and sensing technology to reach different markets through Leti’s powerful collaborations with other companies in various industries.'

Cellmic currently markets a range of rapid diagnostic test readers that are like a home pregnancy test, but can detect markers in blood, saliva or urine for diseases such as malaria, HIV or heart disease. 

Cellmic also produces rapid diagnostic test readers for lateral flow immunoassays including high-performance chromatographic, calorimetric, and fluorescent readers, as well as test development tools and cloud services. Main applications are in medical and veterinary point-of-care diagnostics, drugs-of abuse testing, food and crop testing, and bio-defences.