Steve Steinberg

Southern California Coastal Water Research Project

A high quality portable cellphone-based microscope and mobile data collection technologies for field data collections

(left) Image of Pseudo-nitzchia taken with CellScope Aquatic. Photo credit: Alyssa Gellene. (right) CellScope Aquatic microscope.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Pacific Forum—11:00 a.m.

Collection of biological samples in the field often presents issues of specimen damage or degradation caused by preservation methods, handling, and transport to laboratory facilities for identification. Traditionally, the collection of high quality microscopic images in the field has not been a realistic possibility due to the size, weight, and fragility of sufficiently high quality hardware. The Fletcher Lab in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California Berkeley has developed a mobile microscope called the CellScope to expand access to basic healthcare in remote regions. In collaboration with the Fletcher Lab, the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) worked to modify this clinical tool for microscopic imaging for environmental data collection. Field tests with aquatic algae have proven successful. Imagery collected with the CellScope Aquatic is integrated with mobile data acquisition and submission tools to relay data via wireless connections to a database server. Data and images are available to scientists almost immediately after collection. The CellScope Aquatic provides an easy-to-use, affordable, lightweight, professional quality data collection platform for water quality monitoring.

Next: November 18—Christopher Wilmers


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