The foldscope is the world’s cheapest microscope


It has a resolution of 800 nanometers, magnifying an object up to 2,000 times. More, it is inexpensive to manufacture, its cost is less than one dollar per instrument. Its optical components have the size of a grain of sand. All this thanks to the inexpensive spherical lenses originally mass produced as an abrasive grit used into industrial tumblers to knock the rough edges off metal parts. It is portable and has the ability to project the image on any surface so many people can see it at the same time. The instrument was  demonstratively thrown off a three story balcony, it was stomped by foot and dunked into a water filled beaker but after all it still worked. The goal of the scientist was to create an inexpensive instrument to help detecting dangerous diseases like malaria, African sleeping sickness, schistosomiasis and Chagas. “I wanted to make the instrument that we could almost distribute for free”, said professor Prakash.
The foldscope can be assembled in minutes even by a child. It has at the same time  a large educative potential if used by kids.


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