Australian Scientists Design 3D-Printed Smartphone Microscope

Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics

This clip-on device is designed for field work.

Out in the field and need to determine if there are parasites in your water? Now there's a portable microscope that attaches to your smartphone will do the trick, Engadget reports

Developed by Australian researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, this clip-on microscope magnifies up to 1/200th of a millimeter. It can be made by anyone with a 3D printer, as the researchers have made the files available to the public.

While there have been previous attempts to create a smartphone microscope, this is the first version that doesn't require an external power source. This is also the first smartphone microscope that doesn't require an external light source either. Instead of a bulky LED light, it uses internal illumination tunnels, which allow the light from the camera flash to light up the microscope.

"Our mobile microscope can be used as an inexpensive and portable tool for all types of onsite or remote-area monitoring," said lead developer and CNBP research fellow Dr. Anthony Orth.

The CNBP hopes that this microscope will be used for a variety of uses, including testing water, detecting disease and analyzing blood samples.