Field curvature and other aberrations are encountered inevitably when designing a compact fluorescence imaging system with a simple lens. Although multiple lens elements can be used to correct most such aberrations, doing so increases system cost and complexity. Herein, we propose a wide field-of-view (FOV) fluorescence imaging method with an unconventional optical-quality curved sample chamber that corrects the field curvature caused by a simple lens. Our optics simulations and proof-of-concept experiments demonstrate that a curved substrate with lens-dependent curvature can reduce greatly the distortion in an image taken with a conventional planar detector. Following the validation study, we designed a curved sample chamber that can contain a known amount of sample volume and fabricated it at reasonable cost using plastic injection molding. At a magnification factor of approximately 0.6, the curved chamber provides a clear view of approximately 119 mm2
, which is approximately two times larger than the aberration-free area of a planar chamber. Remarkably, a fluorescence image of microbeads in the curved chamber exhibits almost uniform intensity over the entire field even with a simple lens imaging system, whereas the distorted boundary region has much lower brightness than the central area in the planar chamber. The absolute count of white blood cells stained with a fluorescence dye was in good agreement with that obtained by a commercially available conventional microscopy system. Hence, a wide FOV imaging system with the proposed curved sample chamber would enable us to acquire an undistorted image of a large sample volume without requiring a time-consuming scanning process in point-of-care diagnostic applications.
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