Photonics Research, 2023, 11 (12): 2242, Published Online: Dec. 1, 2023  

Lensless polarimetric coded ptychography for high-resolution, high-throughput gigapixel birefringence imaging on a chip

Author Affiliations
1 School of Optoelectronic Engineering, Xidian University, Xi’an 710071, China
2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269, USA
3 e-mail:
4 e-mail:
Polarimetric imaging provides valuable insights into the polarization state of light interacting with a sample. It can infer crucial birefringence properties of specimens without using labels, thereby facilitating the diagnosis of diseases such as cancer and osteoarthritis. In this study, we present a novel polarimetric coded ptychography (pol-CP) approach that enables high-resolution, high-throughput gigapixel birefringence imaging on a chip. Our platform deviates from traditional lens-based systems by employing an integrated polarimetric coded sensor for lensless coherent diffraction imaging. Utilizing Jones calculus, we quantitatively determine the birefringence retardance and orientation information of biospecimens from the recovered images. Our portable pol-CP prototype can resolve the 435 nm linewidth on the resolution target, and the imaging field of view for a single acquisition is limited only by the detector size of 41 mm2. The prototype allows for the acquisition of gigapixel birefringence images with a 180 mm2 field of view in 3.5 min, a performance that rivals high-end whole slide scanner but at a small fraction of the cost. To demonstrate its biomedical applications, we perform high-throughput imaging of malaria-infected blood smears, locating parasites using birefringence contrast. We also generate birefringence maps of label-free thyroid smears to identify thyroid follicles. Notably, the recovered birefringence maps emphasize the same regions as autofluorescence images, underscoring the potential for rapid on-site evaluation of label-free biopsies. Our approach provides a turnkey and portable solution for lensless polarimetric analysis on a chip, with promising applications in disease diagnosis, crystal screening, and label-free chemical imaging, particularly in resource-constrained environments.

Liming Yang, Ruihai Wang, Qianhao Zhao, Pengming Song, Shaowei Jiang, Tianbo Wang, Xiaopeng Shao, Chengfei Guo, Rishikesh Pandey, Guoan Zheng. Lensless polarimetric coded ptychography for high-resolution, high-throughput gigapixel birefringence imaging on a chip[J]. Photonics Research, 2023, 11(12): 2242.

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