Imec scientists reach zero-G to test lens-free imaging

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Imec researchers on-board the parabolic flight. Credit Imec

Researchers at Imec USA have had the chance to test some of their technology at zero gravity.

The group posted a video on LinkedIn of them and the test rig on-board a parabolic flight.

The aim was to demonstrate that Imec's diagnostic testing devices – namely silicon nanofluidics for blood sample handling and lens-free imaging for blood cell imaging – would work in microgravity.

Both components are part of a diagnostics platform from MiDiagnostics. Blood flow through the components was shown to operate at zero-G as it does on Earth, which gave the researchers confidence that the kit can be deployed in space for diagnostic testing of astronauts.

Imec's lens-free imaging microscope doesn't use optical components, but rather reconstructs an image from a hologram generated by interference patterns. The technology is able to resolve cells down to 1µm at very wide fields of view, 20mm2 or more.

Image: Caleb Foster/

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