Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Docs channel MacGyver, turning iPhone into a microscope to diagnose parasites

ORONTO - It's an accomplishment worthy of MacGyver.
Armed with only a mobile phone, some double-sided tape, a cheap ball lens and a flashlight, some doctors have jerry-rigged a microscope capable of diagnosing intestinal parasites in Tanzanian children.
Infection rates can be particularly high in poor, remote regions of developing countries. Children afflicted by these worms can suffer from chronic anemia and malnutrition, which can stunt physical growth and mental development.
To look for the eggs that develop into these parasites, the scientists typically smear a small amount of stool on a glass slide, cover it with a second, and study the magnified image using a light microscope. Those cost about $200 and require electricity — which is not a constant in some settings.
So Bogoch and his colleagues affixed an $8 ball lens to the camera lens of an iPhone, using double-sided tape. They propped slides over a cheap flashlight and examined the magnified image with the adapted iPhone's camera.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails