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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2020

PlanktonScope: Affordable modular imaging platform for citizen oceanography

Thibaut Pollina
  • Function : Author
Adam Larson
  • Function : Author
Fabien Lombard
Hongquan Li
  • Function : Author
Sebastien Colin
  • Function : Author
Manu Prakash


Abstract The planktonic communities within our oceans represent one of the most diverse and understudied ecosystems on the planet. A major hurdle in describing these systems is the sheer scale of the oceans along with logistical and economic constraints associated with their sampling. This is due to the limited amount of scientifically equipped fleets and affordable equipment. Here we demonstrate a modular approach for building a versatile, re-configurable imaging platform that can be adapted to a number of field applications, specifically focusing on oceanography. By using a modular hardware/software approach for building microscopes, we demonstrate high-throughput imaging of lab and field samples while enabling rapid device reconfiguration in order to match diverse applications and the evolving needs of the sampler. The presented versions of PlanktonScope are capable of autonomously imaging 1.7 ml per minute with a 1.5 µm resolution, and are built with under $400 in parts. This low cost enables new applications in laboratory settings such as the continuous imaging of suspension cultures, and in-field settings with the ability to scale up for long-term deployment on an international fleet of sailing boats enabling citizens based oceanographic research

Dates and versions

hal-03971945 , version 1 (03-02-2023)



Thibaut Pollina, Adam Larson, Fabien Lombard, Hongquan Li, Sebastien Colin, et al.. PlanktonScope: Affordable modular imaging platform for citizen oceanography. 2023. ⟨hal-03971945⟩
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