Smartphone confocal microscopy for imaging cellular structures in human skin in vivo

  • Esther E. Freeman (Creator)
  • Aggrey Semeere (Contributor)
  • Hany Osman (Creator)
  • Gary Peterson (Creator)
  • Milind Rajadhyaksha (Contributor)
  • S. Gonzalez (Creator)
  • Jeffery N. Martin (Creator)
  • R. Rox Anderson (Contributor)
  • Dongkyun Kang (Contributor)



We report development of a low-cost smartphone confocal microscope and its first demonstration of in vivo human skin imaging. The smartphone confocal microscope uses a slit aperture and diffraction grating to conduct two-dimensional confocal imaging without using any beam scanning devices. Lateral and axial resolutions of the smartphone confocal microscope were measured as 2 and 5 µm, respectively. In vivo confocal images of human skin revealed characteristic cellular structures, including spinous and basal keratinocytes and papillary dermis. Results suggest that the smartphone confocal microscope has a potential to examine cellular details in vivo and may help disease diagnosis in resource-poor settings, where conducting standard histopathologic analysis is challenging.
Date made available2018

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