Quantitative Fluorescence Sensing Through Highly Autofluorescent, Scattering, and Absorbing Media Using Mobile Microscopy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Compact and cost-effective systems for in vivo fluorescence and near-infrared imaging in combination with activatable reporters embedded inside the skin to sample interstitial fluid or blood can enable a variety of biomedical applications. However, the strong autofluorescence of human skin creates an obstacle for fluorescence-based sensing. Here we introduce a method for quantitative fluorescence sensing through highly autofluorescent, scattering, and absorbing media. For this, we created a compact and cost-effective fluorescence microscope weighing <40 g and used it to measure various concentrations of a fluorescent dye embedded inside a tissue phantom, which was designed to mimic the optical characteristics of human skin. We used an elliptical Gaussian beam excitation to digitally separate tissue autofluorescence from target fluorescence, although they severely overlap in both space and optical spectrum. Using 10-fold less excitation intensity than the safety limit for skin radiation exposure, we successfully quantified the density of the embedded fluorophores by imaging the skin phantom surface and achieved a detection limit of 5 10(5) and 2.5 10(7) fluorophores within 0.01 L sample volume that is positioned 0.5 and 2 mm below the phantom surface, corresponding to a concentration of 105.9 pg/mL and 5.3 ng/mL, respectively. We also confirmed that this approach can track the spatial misalignments of the mobile microscope with respect to the embedded target fluorescent volume. This wearable microscopy platform might be useful for designing implantable biochemical sensors with the capability of spatial multiplexing to continuously monitor a panel of biomarkers and chronic conditions even at patients' home.

published proceedings

  • ACS Nano

altmetric score

  • 118.04

author list (cited authors)

  • Grcs, Z., Rivenson, Y., Ceylan Koydemir, H., Tseng, D., Troy, T. L., Demas, V., & Ozcan, A.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Göröcs, Zoltán||Rivenson, Yair||Ceylan Koydemir, Hatice||Tseng, Derek||Troy, Tamara L||Demas, Vasiliki||Ozcan, Aydogan

publication date

  • January 2016