UH Moment

UH Moment: Turn Your Phone Into A Microscope

Our goal is to have citizen scientists who are interested in observing small things

An associate professor of engineering at the University of Houston is helping bring science to the masses. Wei-Chuan Shih and his team of researchers have released an open-source dataset offering instructions for people interested in building a smartphone microscope.

“Our goal is to have citizen scientists who are interested in observing small things,” Shih said.

Anyone with a 3-D printer can use the guide to create an inexpensive microscope capable of fluorescence miscroscopy, which can reveal information about cells and tissues that can’t otherwise be detected.

“The biggest investment is the phone which everyone already has,” Shih said. “It is a matter of level of interest, not level of finance.”

Shih hopes that giving away the plans for free will allow others to improve on the design, and make an even better microscope.

“We don’t just want to hold on to the original design,” Shih said.  “The hope is that more people will become interested and contribute to the furtherance of this technology.”

Read how to create the microscope here.

 

 

Share