Counting white blood cells from a blood smear using fourier ptychographic microscopy

Jaebum Chung, Xiaoze Ou, Rajan P. Kulkarni, Changhuei Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


White blood cell (WBC) count is a valuable metric for assisting with diagnosis or prognosis of various diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or infection. Counting WBCs can be done either manually or automatically. Automatic methods are capable of counting a large number of cells to give a statistically more accurate reading of the WBC count of a sample, but the specialized equipment tends to be expensive. Manual methods are inexpensive since they only involve a conventional light microscope setup. However, it is more laborious and error-prone because the small field-of-view (FOV) of the microscope necessitates mechanical scanning of a specimen for counting an adequate number of WBCs. Here, we investigate the use of Fourier ptychographic microscopy (FPM) to bypass these issues of the manual methods. With a 2x objective, FPM can provide a FOV of 120 mm2 with enhanced resolution comparable to that of a 20x objective, which is adequate for non-differentially counting WBCs in just one FOV. A specialist was able to count the WBCs in FPM images with 100% accuracy compared to the count as determined from conventional microscope images. An automatic counting algorithm was also developed to identify WBCs from FPM's captured images with 95% accuracy, paving the way for a cost-effective WBC counting setup with the advantages of both the automatic and manual counting methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0133489
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 17 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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