Diagnosing Diseases with Origami Microscopes | Engineering Is

Diagnosing Diseases with Origami Microscopes | Engineering Is

Diagnosing Diseases with Origami Microscopes | Engineering Is

By Bryan Wright 3 Comments August 18, 2019


The world is a very big place. There are remote places around the world. There are places that are not remote but are fractured primarily because of
socio-economic reasons. You can have a city with millions of people and right on the edge of that city
you have something that has absolutely no healthcare. There are a lot of infectious diseases, which are prevalent in tropical areas in
developing countries scientific tools need to be available. A health care worker by themselves cannot do magic and tell you what disease you have. Microscopy is a core tool in healthcare. Many diseases are caused by microscopic organisms that you cannot see. If somebody had a microscope right there
they would prepare the sample It could be urine, it could be stool, it could be saliva Most likely it’s blood. And then they would look into the
sample to find that disease or not. A majority of the world lives in conditions where it’s not so easy to just have access to
diagnostic tools. People don’t actually get diagnosed at
all because microscopy as an infrastructure does not exist in the world And also approximate it. You can show that that it’s approximately equal… We wanted to tackle
that problem by asking this question What is the right tool that enables
diagnostics in the field? It should be simple enough that you can
fix it. It needs to be robust It needs to be easy to use It needs to really last It needs to be cheap We wrote down these constraints We told ourselves to make something that costs a
dollar That was a tall order and we ended up doing that. So in the end we came up with a solution
where people build this object. So a Foldscope is an origami based paper microscope That you fold together by your own hands You put it together in five to 10
minutes And then you have a completely functional instrument it costs less than a dollar and it allows you to look at sub-cellular things This is the sheet that we provide in
the Foldscope kit. And it contains all the components you
need to make a Foldscope When you assemble the Foldscope together you end up with something that looks like this And this accommodates a standard size
slide And it’s inserted from the bottom like this. In order to use the Foldscope You can pan the lens relative to the sample So to view the sample you wanna hold it
up towards a light source unless you have a light source on the back and just look through the the lens with your eye This is a human blood smear that I’m looking at now. So when we started the Foldscope project
we just started with that paper that we had available to us and simple tools like utility knife
rulers to scotch tape and we I came up with a bunch a
difference configurations that we tested so one of the things that we tried to do
ways build from there a stripped-down
versions that almost requires no batteries nothing made the last forever you solar light to just eliminate that’s the first base
equation men you add another line which has light
modules to really improve the performance and also the fact that you
can imagine the dark you underlying and sunlight old-time then there are versions that
are different magnification but then there are versions that allowed
do different types of microscopy is another microscope that I’m very
proud of which is only call projection microscopy we actually project the image out as if
magically throwing it on any surface we use that
to train health care workers because in a room everybody’s seen the
exact same image you just pointed to say look this
is a parasite in this is not we should do is hold it like that yeah and a and I me are doing clinical trials and validation
the are working on malaria in African
sleeping sickness that’s another disease in which the patient does not have the time if you get the
disease to come to the hospital you have to go alleged a village looking for everyone
and anyone less something so one of the directions
that we’ve been thinking about it vision of the next step in health care
is what if calling rather than calling in a
microscope we would like to make individual full scope that are very
specific to a disease and then you only use them on me they
are so cheap that you just use them for that disease
but they are perfect for that specific disease no diagnostic is only one piece of the
puzzle that has to be activism that has to be money poured in
information that has to be health care workers but making something visible isn’t good
stuff

3 Comments found

User

unseendemise

Holy shit! That's so cool.

Reply
User

YouCanScienceIt

Foldscope is awesome. You can follow them on twitter @PrakashLab

Reply
User

anu Das

is it available in india?

Reply

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *