In Brief

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

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.

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