Make a microscope on your smartphone

Convert your smartphone into your own pocket-microscope that can magnify objects up to 100 times. A kickstarter campaign for the “DIY Lens Maker” has just been launched by Stephen Lee’s team at the Australian National University.

The lenses are made from a liquid plastic dropped into a specially designed cartridge. Gravity forms the shape of the lens and once baked, the plastic becomes a solid lens. To make your own, you need a DIY Lens Maker kit, an oven and 20 minutes.

The team’s primary goal is to introduce the lenses into science classrooms to make the microscopic world more accessible to every student. Future applications include early detection of skin cancer and analysis of diseased crops.

The kickstarter will last 34 days and items will be delivered in December, the website estimates. The more you pledge, the more professional your microscopic setup will be: $5 will get you three lenses; $40 will get you a lens maker, a polymer pack and a lens mount with an LED camera. Pledge $600 or more and the founders will hold a hands-on lens making workshop for you (available in NSW and ACT).

Even a basic smartphone camera can be used to capture microscopic close-ups. 

Read more on Cosmos: This lens could turn your smartphone into a microscope

Cosmos Magazine

Katherine Kizilos

Katherine Kizilos is a staff writer at Cosmos.

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