Stanford bioengineer develops interactive smartphone microscope

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Currently, the field of microbiology is sparse of young talent pushing the field forward. Hoping to overcome this, Stanford University has developed a smartphone microscopy system, called LuduScope, which can be used to play simple video games with light sensitive eukaryotes. This initiative is open source and is made of simple components, which allows children to build it themselves with a small amount of guidance.

By using simple lenses as a miscroscope and a printed platform where the smartphone rests — which can be gently raised and lowered to achieve the best focus — LudusScope can be used by almost anyone. Below the optic piece is a glass platform where a slide is placed with Euglena eukaryotes on it. Four LEDS are then activated on the corners of the platform via a smartphone app.

Those LEDS can control which direction the eukarypotes will swim. Overlayed graphics can then put those eukarypotes into a tense game of soccer. Of course, the LuduScope can also be used for more serious work, such as tracking the movement of single cells and idefntifying the speed of those cells.

View the attached video to see the LuduScope system being shown off.