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Cool Thing Of The Day: UCLA Researcher Develops $10 Cellphone Microscope

Even with all the hype about the US losing our edge in the innovation race, our flagship universities still turn out the most mind-blowing inventions.

Case in point: the new Cellphone Microscope, whose workings are described in the nanotech journal Lab On A Chip:

"...this lensfree imaging platform can be mechanically attached to the camera unit of a cellphone where the samples are loaded from the side, and are vertically illuminated by a simple light-emitting diode (LED). This incoherent LED light is then scattered from each micro-object to coherently interfere with the background light, creating the lensfree hologram of each object on the detector array of the cellphone. These holographic signatures captured by the cellphone permit reconstruction of microscopic images of the objects through rapid digital processing."
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/cellphone-microscope.jpg
According to Singularity Hub, the device allows "medical professionals in remote (and not so remote) places in Africa to analyze patients for diseases such as malaria." The team "also demonstrated that LUCAS can identify a water borne parasite (in that case Giardia lamblia) which opens up even more possibilities for its use on the continent."

The team has also developed a USB version of the same Lensless Ultrawide field Cell monitoring Array platform based on Shadow Imaging (LUCAS) technology for use without a phone. The LUCAS team recently won an award from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. If successful in early trials, it's likely to be deployed around the globe, and will no doubt have a positive impact in the lives of millions.

TAGS: Innovation
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