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Polarised light modular microscopy (Pol-ModMicro) for identifying hemozoin crystals in Plasmodium

Fraser Eadie; Matthew P Gibbins; Graham Gibson; Matthias Marti; Akhil Kallepalli

In this repository, you will find all the files needed to recreate the Pol-ModMicro system. These include: 

  1. Unmodified OpenFlexure files; as used in the system. 
  2. Modified/Updated Components to allow ModLight integration
  3. OpenFlexure Nano Motor Controller files
  4. Bill of Materials

Abstract: Plasmodium spp. are the protozoan parasites responsible for malaria. Plasmodium spp. synthesise a biocrystal, hemozoin, which can be observed under cross-polarised light. These birefringent crystals can be seen due to different refractive indices of the hemozoin crystal and red blood cells. Here, we present a polarised light modular microscopy (Pol-ModMicro) solution, complete with illumination sources and a robust imaging system to capture birefringence and identify the parasites. We achieve this by combining ModLight light sources with bespoke components designed for the OpenFlexure microscope to image blood smears. Further, a simple and robust algorithm capable of enhancing birefringence is presented. This solution provides image quality that is comparable to a substantially more expensive proprietary microscope. 

This work was made possible with support from the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) [EP/R511705/1] and EPSRC funding to QuantIC [EP/M01326X/1].
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