Writing this week in the journal PLOS One, researchers describe an portable fluorescent microscope they've built using a cell phone and inexpensive parts. The researchers envision such a device being used in developing countries for medical analysis. "A recent convergence of technologies is making it possible to change the way microscopy is performed in developing countries," they write. "Given the ubiquity of mobile phone networks, the fact that many mobile phones are now equipped with digital cameras, the increase in computational power of mobile phones, and the advent of inexpensive high-power light emitting diodes (LEDs), we believe that these technologies can be combined to create an inexpensive and powerful tool for light (and especially fluorescence) microscopy in developing regions."
The researchers used a prototype device to obtain images of TB infected cells and of blood cells affected by sickle cell disease. In this segment, we'll talk with one of the developers of the 'CellScope' about the device.
Produced by Christopher Intagliata, Associate Senior Producer