A $1.50 Lens-Free Microscope

October 25, 2010 | Source: Technology Review

(Changhuei Yang Research Group, Caltech)

Using a $1.50 digital camera sensor, scientists at Caltech have created the simplest and cheapest lens-free microscope yet. Such a device could have many applications, including helping diagnose disease in the developing world, and enabling rapid screening of new drugs.

A system of microscopic channels called microfluidics lead a sample across the light-sensing chip, which snaps images in rapid succession as the sample passes across and produces a video. It achieves 20X magnification.

The device’s makers call it a subpixel resolving optofluidic microscope, or SROFM.