An Indian-American scientist Manu Prakash from Stanford University has developed an incredibly low-cost microscope made almost entirely out of paper.
The microscope, known as The Foldscope because of its design, comes in three parts – a slip of paper which acts as the slide on which the specimen is kept, a slide for the ball-shaped lens, and a piece that contains an LED light, to help illuminate the subject being examined.
The Foldscope can be shipped in a flat configuration and assembled in minutes.
Dr Prakash, an assistant professor, physicist, and bioengineer at Stanford University, and his team at the university hope that the microscope’s size and inexpensiveness will make it widely used in areas where such technology is not readily available.
“We have a very simple goal that every single kid in the world should grow up with a microscope,” Prakash was quoted as saying in The Stanford Daily.
“We should all be carrying around microscopes in our pocket all the time,” he added.
Prakash, who was born in Meerut in a middle-class family, earned a BTech from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, in computer science and engineering in 2002.
He did his PhD in 2008 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has had three scientific studies published by peer-reviewed journals since 2007.