menu

Paper Microscope Folds Up Like Origami

Paper Microscope Folds Up Like Origami
Innovation

Foldscope could revolutionize healthcare by offering a simple option for field-testing of infectious diseases for less than $1.

Alan Khanukaev
  • 11 march 2014

Foldscope is a microscope contained within a single sheet of paper that allows for fast and affordable testing of diseases like Malaria, Tuberculosis, and African Sleeping Sickness in developing nations. More than one billion people globally are at risk for Malaria, a disease that still claims one million lives every year. In many countries diagnosis can still take weeks or months, mostly because the availability and scalability of many of these traditional diagnostic devices are out of reach.

Manu Prakash, an Assistant Professor at Stanford,and his team are looking to change that by solving the immediate problem of quickly identifying the illnesses. Traditional microscopes are not at all designed for field testing. Aside from being prohibitively expensive, they’re are heavy and difficult to maintain. However, the team over at PrakashLab has developed an alternative that is portable, affordable, and scaleable almost to the point of being disposable.

Foldscope Manufacturing.jpg

The Foldscope is made out of a single sheet of paper. Users break off the individual components and fold them together into what becomes a completely self-contained and durable microscope. In order to provide a universally accessible product, there are no written instructions for assembly, the elements are folded according to a color code system. Once assembled the microscope will require no external power. It will be able fit in your pocket and provide as much as 2000x magnification at a total cost of approximately 50 cents.

Foldscope Color Code.jpg

Aside from the valuable role a device like can play in identifying illness in the field. It can also have a significant impact on the future of education. Foldscope could be easily applied to training in medical schools, and the team also hopes that it can serve as a useful component in K-12 science education as well.

Folding Party BioX Kids Day.jpg

Currently, there are several projects underway to try and make microscopy more accessible to the average person, whether it’s an iPhone attachment or a unit made out of LEGO, but Foldscope is one of the first designed around this level of minimalism.

Foldscope is currently looking in enlist 10,000 betatesters to develop experiments and applications around the project. Visit the “Ten Thousand Microscopes Project” page to learn more and sign up.

Foldscope
Sources: TED

Innovation
Trending

Lancôme's Newest Campaign Stars A Domestic Abuse Survivor

Advertising
Arts & Culture Yesterday

Small Urban Pavilions Create A Nature Refuge In East London

These relaxing micro shelters provide a haven amidst chaotic city environments

Travel Yesterday

Travel Laundry Pouch Washes Your Clothes Wherever You Are

The Scrubba Wash Bag helps anyone wash their clothes easily and quickly with just a little water and soap

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Social Media Yesterday

Swipe Up To Register To Vote On Snapchat

The social platform has partnered with TurboVote to help young people easily enroll in less than one minute

Children Yesterday

Battle Card Game Promotes Childhood Vaccinations

An Australian doctor has developed a playful way to inform parents about immunization and entertain kids

Related Expert

Douglas Baldasare

Mobile Charging Spots

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Oakley And Intel’s Sunglasses Give You A Built-In Personal Trainer Wherever You Go

The sunglasses/earbuds hybrid tracks your performance and lets you know how well your workouts are going

Experiential Marketing Yesterday

UNICEF’s ‘Time Machine’ Tells Stories With Data

An experiential installation at the UN General Assembly reminds us why every child matters

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Watch The World’s Tallest Building Become An LED Display

Burj Khalifa gives a backstage look at how the transformation came to be

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Travel Yesterday

Boeing Wants To Make Your Flight Better With Cloud And Star Projections

The manufacturer is trying to patent a projection system that would allow them to project images onto a plane's interior surfaces

Latin America Yesterday

Colombians Teach Dance To Fund Students’ Education

Chocó to Dance is a platform that shows you how to replicate popular Latin dances to help create scholarships for local students

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: What A People-First Workplace Must Prioritize First

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX on why employee fulfillment is a journey and not a destination

Culture Yesterday

Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World’s Largest Open-Air Gallery

Tiger Beer and a neighborhood-minded nonprofit celebrate and promote New York's creative spirit by beautifying 100 security gates

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Technology Yesterday

How Technology Can Save The World By Saving Time

PSFK attends the Social Good Summit 2016 to see how new tech is changing the world for the better

Travel Yesterday

Marriott’s Gravity Room Installation Gives Travelers A New Perspective

The luxury hotel chain's #MGravityRoom invites visitors to snap and share pictures of its inverted set up

No search results found.