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Team project on optical projection tomography completed

last modified Aug 23, 2016 12:47 PM
Students successfully designed, built and tested an open source optical projection tomography system to image biological samples in 3D.


Completed: Sensor Team Challenge on Optical Projection Tomography

The second cohort of Sensor CDT students has finished their 15 week Sensor Team Challenge. This project is a major part of the MRes course, requiring team work, technical and personal skills and focus. It gives the students a glimpse of a real research environment and prepares them for their PhD project.

The brief

The brief was to build an open source optical projection tomography (OPT) setup for less than £5000. OPT allows to image transparent (biological) samples approximately the size of a sugar cube in 3D with a resolution of a few micrometers. A commercial system has been available a few years ago from Bioptonics and an open source setup has subsequently been published. Both system, however, are substantially more expensive than the one designed in this Team Challenge.


discussion low res

The setup was designed using an open source approach and avoiding proprietary hardware or software. After fully characterising their optical projection tomography setup the students were able to take high resolution images of transparent and fluorescent biological samples, such as C. elegans and organoids.

Future work

The students will present their work at the Sensors Day 2016 conference and then publish their results in the scientific literature. Design information will be published enabling interested researcher to build their own system.


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