A simple and low-cost device performing blood cell counting based on lens-free shadow imaging technique

Mohendra Roy, Geonsoo Jin, Dongmin Seo, Myung Hyun Nam, Sungkyu Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Complete blood count (CBC) is a basic and important diagnostic procedure in pathological laboratories. However, current technologies such as hemocytometry, impedancemetry, or flow-cytometry, are either time-consuming or requiring bulky and high-cost of instrumentation. To address this issue we demonstrate a compact, cost-effective, and automated blood cell counting method based on the lens-free shadow imaging technique. For that a lens-free shadow imaging technique based blood cell counting device was fabricated using a blue light emitting diode (LED) and a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor. The shadow images of the blood cells, i.e., diffraction patterns, were captured by the device and processed automatically using a custom developed algorithm to count and differentiate the cells. The comparative study from 21 outpatient whole blood samples was carried out with the fully automated hematology analyzer (LH 750, Beckman Coulter). The comparison between the lens-free shadow imaging device and the standard reference system showed correlation indices of 0.878 for red blood cell (RBC) and 0.927 for white blood cell (WBC). The linearity comparison gave a statistical trend of y = 0.9432x with R2 = 0.99 for RBC and y = 0.7395x with R2 = 0.92 for WBC. Also the correlation coefficient for WBC subpopulations, i.e., neutrophil, lymphocyte, and monocyte, for each individual sample was >0.90. This cost-effective and compact blood cell counting system can be utilized as a powerful point of care (POC) tool, which could play an important role in primary healthcare, especially in areas with limited resources. Since the system is capable to send the images wirelessly and process them on a moderate smart phone, therefore, the proposed system possesses great potential in telemedicine applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All the authors gratefully acknowledge the supports of the Converging Research Center Program (Grant no.: 2013K000249 ), the Basic Science Research Program (Grant no.: 2013-010832 ), and Brain Korea 21 Plus Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning.


  • Blood cell counting
  • Complete blood count
  • Flow-cytometry
  • Lens-free shadow imaging technique
  • Red blood cell
  • White blood cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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