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Caltech uses smart phone as petri dish

Nov. 18, 2011—A smart-phone adaptation developed by engineers at the California Institute of Technology can be used for medical diagnostics by creating a virtual petri dish that is able to image cell growth continuously, according to a recent news release issued by the school.


Dubbed ePetri, the device is described in a paper online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"Our ePetri dish is a compact, small, lens-free microscopy imaging platform. We can directly track the cell culture or bacteria culture within the incubator," explains Guoan Zheng, lead author of the study and a graduate student in electrical engineering at Caltech. "The data from the ePetri dish automatically transfers to a computer outside the incubator by a cable connection. Therefore, this technology can significantly streamline and improve cell culture experiments by cutting down on human labor and contamination risks."