tech engineering origami microscope papercraft public_health malaria infectious_disease medicine developing_world

Origami Makes 50-Cent Paper Microscope That Magnifies 2,000 Times

Stanford University bioengineer Manu Prakash has developed a microscope made of paper that costs 50 cents to make. Using the magic of origami, the Foldscope device can focus through a sample mounted on a standard slide in micron-length steps. It can magnify objects 2,000 times with sub-micron resolution without needing any external power.

The instrument is part of Frugal Science for Public Health, an effort by Prakash’s team to democratize science. Healthcare workers can use it to diagnose infectious diseases like malaria and those caused by pathogenic bacteria, and it can also be used as a teaching aid.

See the ted talk below from which these gifs are made.

These are the parts of the microscope:

Gifs courtesy TED and Manu Prakash.

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