Sunday, March 6, 2011

The App That Can Save Lives

Scientist Aydogan Ozcan has created a lens-free cell phone microscope, the first of its kind. While this may sound useless at first, Ozcan's new device is nothing short of a scientific breakthrough, revolutionizing the field.

"Our main goal is to replace bulky optical microscopes with computer codes and architectures that can make them extremely lightweight, compact and cost effective," said Ozcan.

The small lens works by putting an LED light through a slide sample to create shadows on a phone's digital camera sensor. With the right programming, the phone's card can then read these shadows and accurately define what is on the slide. This means that while traditional high-tec optical microscopes can cost hundreds of thousands of dollar to buy, a cell phone will be able to do the same work for as little as a $5-$10 adapter.

The breakthrough achievement was created with malaria and tuberculosis diagnosis in mind, and it within two years it is expected to hit the market for use.

(story courtesy of

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