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

Esther E. Freeman, Aggrey Semeere, Hany Osman, Gary Peterson, Milind Rajadhyaksha, Salvador González, Jeffery N. Martin, R. Rox Anderson, Guillermo J. Tearney, Dongkyun Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number#319893
Pages (from-to)1906-1915
Number of pages10
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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