We’ve recently seen a number of projects aimed at creating Star Trek-like medical tricorders, that take the form of stand-alone electronic devices built specifically for the purpose. Now, however, scientists at the University of Houston are taking an approach that’s currently popular in many other areas of product design – they’ve asked, “Why build a whole new device, if a smartphone can provide the electronics?”. The result is a proposed phone lens attachment, that could be used to diagnose diseases in real time.
A special lens uses a thin, glass slide with a gold grid, which will be blocked up if bacteria are present in a person’s fluid sample. While the slides of the lens are currently only visible under a microscope, the researchers hope to develop a working model that can be inspected with the phone’s flash function. Below is a picture of the lens under a microscope, with bacteria covering up parts of the grid.
See on www.egr.uh.edu