Well, the device just got even more powerful. The group announced Tuesday that the CellScope is now capable of taking color images of malaria parasites and even of tuberculosis bacteria labeled with fluorescent markers.
The version of the Cellscope introduced in April works with handhelds and even Netbooks and can be used for bright field microscopy, which uses simple white light--such as from a bulb or sunlight--to illuminate samples. The new version adds fluorescent microscopy to the repertoire. The device can now take pictures of a target--such as a parasite, bacteria, or cell--tagged with a specific fluorescent wavelength emitted by a special dye.
To achieve this, the researchers used filters to block out background light and convert the light source--a simple LED--into the 460-nanometer wavelength required to excite the green fluorescent dye in the sample. After that they were were able to take fluorescent images of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (which causes TB in humans) with a 3.2-megapixel off-the-shelf phone camera. The images were then automatically analyzed using software to show the total of bacteria in the blood sample.
This new development means the prototype of the CellScope can also be used in field settings for disease screening and diagnoses.… Read more
What's this gizmo? Another ridiculous lens thing for bolting on the front of your phone to beef up that pitiful 2-megapixel camera? Actually, no: it's the CellScope, which turns a normal mobile phone--in this case, a rather venerable Nokia N73--into a microscope. Limited access to microscopy in the developing world makes this a handy tool for diagnosing diseases like tuberculosis and malaria.
The CellScope works with handhelds and even Netbooks. The really clever bit is that it wirelessly transmits patient data to clinical centers, allowing the patient to be evaluated remotely and treatment suggested. Developed by … Read more