Scientist Transforms iPhone Into A Microscope Using Lens That Only Costs 7 Bucks

iphonemicro_2509363b

All it takes is some double sided tape and a $7 lens to turn your iPhone into a microscope

Add microscopes to the list of things your iPhone can replace. A group of scientist visiting Tanzania were able to convert their iPhone 4S into a microscope using nothing by a $7 lens, some double sided tape, and a torch.

After macgyvering the iPhone 4S into a microscope, the scientest then used it to take pictures of stool samples to determine the presences of eggs in some schoolchildren. Amazingly, the iPhone picked up 70 percent of the infections.

Dr Isaac Bogoch, who used his own iPhone 4S in the experiment, had the following to say about the results:

“Ultimately we’d like something like this to be a useful diagnostic test. We want to put it in the hands of someone who might be able to use it. 70 per cent [accuracy] isn’t really good enough, we want to be above 80 per cent and we’re not quite there yet.”

Scientists and doctors have used smartphone microscopes in lab trials before, but Dr. Bogoch wanted to recreate a real world setting. The iPhone 4S was used to find eggs in the stool samples, which would then signify the presence of parasite infection. The smallest eggs visible using the iPhone were 40-60 micrometers in diameter.

  • Anthony Fear

    After using his phone to test stool samples he now,

    “…wants to put it in the hands of someone…”

    eeeeuuuuwwwwwwwwwww !

    :-)

  • Gadget

    Kickstart it

  • hanhothi

    70% is nowhere near a good enough detection rate. Come on, that means 30 out of every 100 PEOPLE would continue to suffer from the problems associated with round worm infection. That is a lot of people. The effects include malnourishment, stunted growth and mental deficiencies. Serious stuff.

    Also, factor in the cost of an iPhone (or an Android based smartphone or any phone with a decent camera) and compare that with the cost of a real microscope, even a basic one, and the figures just do not make any sense. It would be possible to buy around 5 real microscopes that would have a detection rate of around 90-95% each.

    A nice little trick, but when it comes to saving lives which is what we are talking about, not good enough. Let’s get real here.

  • forrie

    info on the equipment (lens, etc) would be appropriate here. However, if I were to attempt this with my iPhone (it actually sounds fun), I think the last thing I would do is stool samples. Just not my thing, sorry :-)

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , , , |