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Open AccessArticle

A Quantized CNN-Based Microfluidic Lensless-Sensing Mobile Blood-Acquisition and Analysis System

School of Automation and Information Engineering, Xi’an University of Technology, Xi’an 710000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(23), 5103;
Received: 23 October 2019 / Revised: 17 November 2019 / Accepted: 20 November 2019 / Published: 21 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Intelligent Sensors)
This paper proposes a microfluidic lensless-sensing mobile blood-acquisition and analysis system. For a better tradeoff between accuracy and hardware cost, an integer-only quantization algorithm is proposed. Compared with floating-point inference, the proposed quantization algorithm makes a tradeoff that enables miniaturization while maintaining high accuracy. The quantization algorithm allows the convolutional neural network (CNN) inference to be carried out using integer arithmetic and facilitates hardware implementation with area and power savings. A dual configuration register group structure is also proposed to reduce the interval idle time between every neural network layer in order to improve the CNN processing efficiency. We designed a CNN accelerator architecture for the integer-only quantization algorithm and the dual configuration register group and implemented them in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA). A microfluidic chip and mobile lensless sensing cell image acquisition device were also developed, then combined with the CNN accelerator to build the mobile lensless microfluidic blood image-acquisition and analysis prototype system. We applied the cell segmentation and cell classification CNN in the system and the classification accuracy reached 98.44%. Compared with the floating-point method, the accuracy dropped by only 0.56%, but the area decreased by 45%. When the system is implemented with the maximum frequency of 100 MHz in the FPGA, a classification speed of 17.9 frames per second (fps) can be obtained. The results show that the quantized CNN microfluidic lensless-sensing blood-acquisition and analysis system fully meets the needs of current portable medical devices, and is conducive to promoting the transformation of artificial intelligence (AI)-based blood cell acquisition and analysis work from large servers to portable cell analysis devices, facilitating rapid early analysis of diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: lensless sensing; quantization scheme; CNN; microfluidic chip; blood analysis lensless sensing; quantization scheme; CNN; microfluidic chip; blood analysis
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Liao, Y.; Yu, N.; Tian, D.; Li, S.; Li, Z. A Quantized CNN-Based Microfluidic Lensless-Sensing Mobile Blood-Acquisition and Analysis System. Sensors 2019, 19, 5103.

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