Ptychographic sensor for large-scale lensless microbial monitoring with high spatiotemporal resolution


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Traditional microbial detection methods often rely on the overall property of microbial cultures and cannot resolve individual growth event at high spatiotemporal resolution. As a result, they require bacteria to grow to confluence and then interpret the results. Here, we demonstrate the application of an integrated ptychographic sensor for lensless cytometric analysis of microbial cultures over a large scale and with high spatiotemporal resolution. The reported device can be placed within a regular incubator or used as a standalone incubating unit for long-term microbial monitoring. For longitudinal study where massive data are acquired at sequential time points, we report a new temporal-similarity constraint to increase the temporal resolution of ptychographic reconstruction by 7-fold. With this strategy, the reported device achieves a centimeter-scale field of view, a halfpitch spatial resolution of 488 nm, and a temporal resolution of 15-s intervals. For the first time, we report the direct observation of bacterial growth in a 15-s interval by tracking the phase wraps of the recovered images, with high phase sensitivity like that in interferometric measurements. We also characterize cell growth via longitudinal dry mass measurement and perform rapid bacterial detection at low concentrations. For drugscreening application, we demonstrate proof-of-concept antibiotic susceptibility testing and perform single-cell analysis of antibiotic-induced filamentation. The combination of high phase sensitivity, high spatiotemporal resolution, and large field of view is unique among existing microscopy techniques. As a quantitative and miniaturized platform, it can improve studies with microorganisms and other biospecimens at resource-limited settings.
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Key words
Temporal-similarity constraint, Lensless microscopy, Ptychography, Quantitative phase imaging, Dry mass measurement, Antibiotic-induced filamentation
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