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A reconfigurable real-time compressive-sampling camera for biological applications

Fu, Bo; Pitter, Mark C.; Russell, Noah A.


Bo Fu

Mark C. Pitter

Noah A. Russell


Many applications in biology, such as long-term functional imaging of neural and cardiac systems, require continuous high-speed imaging. This is typically not possible, however, using commercially available systems. The frame rate and the recording time of high-speed cameras are limited by the digitization rate and the capacity of on-camera memory. Further restrictions are often imposed by the limited bandwidth of the data link to the host computer. Even if the system bandwidth is not a limiting factor, continuous high-speed acquisition results in very large volumes of data that are difficult to handle, particularly when real-time analysis is required. In response to this issue many cameras allow a predetermined, rectangular region of interest (ROI) to be sampled, however this approach lacks flexibility and is blind to the image region outside of the ROI. We have addressed this problem by building a camera system using a randomly-addressable CMOS sensor. The camera has a low bandwidth, but is able to capture continuous high-speed images of an arbitrarily defined ROI, using most of the available bandwidth, while simultaneously acquiring low-speed, full frame images using the remaining bandwidth. In addition, the camera is able to use the full-frame information to recalculate the positions of targets and update the high-speed ROIs without interrupting acquisition. In this way the camera is capable of imaging moving targets at high-speed while simultaneously imaging the whole frame at a lower speed. We have used this camera system to monitor the heartbeat and blood cell flow of a water flea (Daphnia) at frame rates in excess of 1500 fps.


Fu, B., Pitter, M. C., & Russell, N. A. (2011). A reconfigurable real-time compressive-sampling camera for biological applications. PLoS ONE, 6(10), Article e26306.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 18, 2011
Deposit Date Mar 24, 2014
Publicly Available Date Mar 24, 2014
Journal PLoS ONE
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 10
Article Number e26306
Public URL
Publisher URL


journal.pone.0026306.pdf (1.3 Mb)

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