Muhammed Veli, a grad student in Prof. Aydogan Ozcan’s group, has been awarded the “Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Competition” for the paper titled “Quantification of Staphylococcus aureus on Contact Lenses using Mobile Holographic Imaging of Curved Surfaces and Machine Learning” at the OSA Frontiers in Optics (FiO) Conference held in Washington DC September 17-20, 2018.

Muhammed indicates the paper is about cost-effective mobile sensor platform based on 3D imaging of contact lenses and machine learning for quantification of Staphylococcus aureus. This bacteria is part of the human ocular microbiome and resides on the cornea and conjunctiva. Monitoring ocular microbiota and collecting samples from the ocular surface is quite tedious. It involves conjunctival swabs or tear fluid collection, which require laborious sample collection steps as well as relatively expensive and bulky laboratory equipment for the sample analysis. This mobile holographic imaging platform can potentially monitor and noninvasively analyze the human ocular microbiome in a cost-effective manner. The large surface area and long wear-time of contact lenses provide sensitive, efficient and more convenient detection of bacteria in tear compared to conjunctival swabs or tear collection based methods.
Funding for a portion of this project was provided by NIH with Prof. Aydogan Ozcan of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department as the principal Investigator.