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A Smartphone-Based Dark-Field Microscope for Point of Care (POC) Diagnosis of Blood-Cell Disorders in Lethal Diseases

Primary Information

Domain

Healthcare

Project No.

6966

Sanction and Project Initiation

Sanction No: F. No. 35-10/2016-TS-I

Sanction Date: 27/02/2017

Project Initiation date: 15/03/2017

Project Duration: 36

Partner Ministry/Agency/Industry

Partner ministry: ICMR

 

Role of partner:Funding

 

Support from partner:50% of the total funding is supposed to be provided by the partner ministry

Principal Investigator

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Manabendra ChandraPrimary
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

Host Institute

Co-PIs

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Saravanan Matheshwaran
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

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Raju K Gupta
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

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Tanmoy Maiti
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

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Manish Kulkarni
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

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Arnab Bhattacharya
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

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Anindita Gayen
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

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Dr. Sutapa Mondal
Indian Institute of Technology

 

Scope and Objectives

Our objective is to develop a dark-field microscopy-based smartphone attachment for accurate, quantitative and rapid diagnosis of human-blood samples. The proposed inexpensive device will have resolution comparable to high-end laboratory microscopes and will work with just a finger-prick volume of unstained blood-cells. A downloadable and user-friendly custom app, which will guide any non-technical user in performing blood-test and analyzing the results step-by-step, will be designed. Abnormalities in number, size, shape, color-intensity of blood cells, and presence of target cells, fungi & parasites will be detected and the related diseases can be diagnosed through data mining.

Deliverables

The final deliverable from this project is a low-cost, hand-held, dark-field imaging system that can be used directly for accurate, rapid and multiplexed diagnosis of blood-cell disorders in clinical blood samples. Beneficiaries are hospitals, clinicians, pharmacists and patients suffering from diseases that cause blood-cell disorder, especially those in remote areas. The possible rewards of this research direction are undoubtedly great because the proposed device can make evolutionary breakthroughs in the field of mobile health and thereby can improve Indias overall healthcare situation. Other than societal impact, the outcome of this project will have commercial value as well. The device and the design can be patented and commercialised.

 

Scientific Output

We are in the experimentation and optimization stage. We have made one bright field based microscope attachment and one dark-field based microscope attachment for smartphone camera that can now image objects of less than 10 micron size. We have also designed and fabricated a microfluidic-based slide that will allow a prick volume of blood sample to be channeled to the detection area.

 

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Results and outcome till date

We currently can image objects of dimension less than 10 micron properly with the developed microscope attachment. For this purpose we have been using purified (in PBS) RBC-smear sample. Both Bright field as well as Dark-field imaging have been quite successful. Imaging of smaller object like platelets need further improvement and optimization. Specifically, we need to optimize the illumination conditions and the sample-optics-camera distances. once this objective is achieved, we will go for increasing the magnification. Blood smear preparation too needs further optimization.

 

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Societal benefit and impact anticipated

Beneficiaries of the successful completion of this projects are hospitals, clinicians, pharmacists and patients suffering from diseases that cause blood-cell disorder, especially those in remote areas. The possible rewards of this research direction are undoubtedly great because the proposed device can make evolutionary breakthroughs in the field of mobile health and thereby can improve overall healthcare situation of our country.

Next steps

Over the next 6 months, our plan is to optimize and construct 3D printed adapter that will hold optics illumination source and the slide altogether. This adapter will be such that it can be just slipped on the phone. We are currently experimenting on the fabrication and optimization of the attachment for dark-field imaging mode. Simultaneously we will work toward the improvement of the resolution of the optical unit so that we can look at samples of sizes around 2-3 micron. Once this target achieved, the hardware development part will be 75 percent complete and we will start working on the image analysis-software development part of the project (the last step).

Publications and reports

Nil

Patents

Nil

Scholars and Project Staff

1. Pritam Dey; Project engineer; Date Of Joining: 01/Dec/2017 Term End Date:31/May/2018
2. Trapti Mudgal; Project Associate; Date Of Joining: 27/Jul/2018 Term End Date:26/Jul/2019
3. Subhomoy Das; Project scientist; Date Of Joining: 26/Jul/2017 Term End Date:25/Sep/2017
4. Bhubaneswari B; Sr. project scientist; Date Of Joining: 13/Jul/2017 Term End Date:12/Jan/2018
5. Sunny Kumar, Project assistant; Date Of Joining: 04/Aug/2017 Term End Date:31/Jan/2018
Additionally two PhD students in PI lab are working on this project.

Challenges faced

NA

Other information

NA

Financial Information

  • Total sanction: Rs. 12106000

  • Amount received: Rs. 6133900

  • Amount utilised for Equipment: Rs. 871832

  • Amount utilised for Manpower: Rs. 945526

  • Amount utilised for Consumables: Rs. 698673

  • Amount utilised for Contingency: Rs. 298586

  • Amount utilised for Travel: Rs. 0

  • Amount utilised for Other Expenses: 0

  • Amount utilised for Overheads: Rs. 1022317

Equipment and facilities

 

Smartphones, Optics, Optomechanical components, incubator etc.