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Compact cellphone microscope

Computers & Mobile Craft & Design Science
Compact cellphone microscope


This novel approach to cellphone microscopy from Dr. Aydogan Ozcan from the University of California, Los Angeles, foregoes bulky lenses and magnifies electronically.

For this electronic system of magnification, inexpensive light-emitting diodes added to the basic cellphone shine their light on a sample slide placed over the phone’s camera chip. Some of the light waves hit the cells suspended in the sample, scattering off the cells and interfering with the other light waves.

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2 thoughts on “Compact cellphone microscope

  1. Joseph says:

    If I understand the workings of these this can be done using:

    Use a led or laser diode with out lens, the led projects a cone of oriented light. When the cone of oriented light is projected against some semi-transparent substance (e.g. cells) a shadow is projected depending on the transparency of observed object. Now project that directly into the camera chip and you get the an amplified image.

    You can change amplification just by approaching the tip of the light cone (led) to the object being observed.

    I’ve tried this with a laser diode, but using one lens and projecting the result into a flat piece of white.

    The smaller the cone tip the bigest the possible amplification, so if you use one single lens, use the focal point, and move the focal point (cone tip) forward and backward approaching or moving away you can amplify or deamplify.

    Since the light coming from the led (laser) is oriented the projected light does not need focusing, or that or it is really an hologram that is being projected.

    The problem I found with the laser is that its monocolor … so only got red like objects, but I’d figure that using a white led would give the same result …

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