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Petri dish takes pics with cell phone camera

The imaging sensor chips that form the heart of built-in cell phone cameras are helping engineers transform the way cell cultures are imaged by serving as the platform for a “smart” petri dish.

Since the late 1800s, biologists have used petri dishes primarily to grow cells. In the medical field, they are used to identify bacterial infections, such as tuberculosis. Conventional use of a petri dish requires that the cells being cultured be placed in an incubator to grow. As the sample grows, it is removed—often numerous times—from the incubator to be studied under a microscope.

Not so with the ePetri, whose platform does away with the need for bulky microscopes and significantly reduces human labor time, while improving the way in which the culture growth can be recorded.

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