[Day 2] Do-It-Together Microscopy



For the Do-It-Together Microscopy session, several different DIY microscopes were discussed and demonstrated, and 6 participants made oFoldscopes from the ‘old-school’ paper design with the 140x spherical ball lens to take home. There was some discussion about the Foldscope PLOS publication, but subsequent lack of sharing for recent developments. Both GaudiLab and Public Lab DIY scopes based on the inverted webcam lenses were shared, and compared, and the Open Flexure system was admired. An attempt to reproduce the the epifluor results of an already published work (Sung et al 2017 doi: 10.1364/BOE.8.005075) with a phone and 3D printed pieces (thanks to Ji!) was not successful. However, it is possible that too strong a resister was added in line with the blue LED, or the macro lens used couldn’t substitute for what the original paper suggested… Still, the SYBR-safe stained cheek cells were bright on a transilluminator, but not with the test rig on the phone borrowed from one of the workshop participants. It is clear that many ways to look at the microscopic world are available to DIT-research teams, nonetheless.


Here are the notes taken by Sam Kelly

· Types of Microscope
o OpenFlexure
· Mechanical Movement - runs off of Rpi + camera
· Research Grade - $100
o Low Cost Version - $3
o Hack - Epifluorescence Hack Microscope
· 6 3D Printed parts
· needed a lens (PDMS) - Used a macro lens instead
· Blue filter - to see if we can see cells
o FoldScope -
· OldFoldScope - found old design online in blog and made with laser cutter, has shared it all via the Hackuarium wiki.
o Hackteria
· Building microscopes for a long time (100s of workshops)
· Hack webcam by flipping lens + and with phone lenses
· Found best design and opensourced it (can get DXF files)
· Display
§ Now using dashcam for digital microscope display ($8)
§ Looking at making design better
o Public Labs
· Trying to make with as many people as possible
· Choose materials that would be easy for people to find and use e.g. Not relying on laser cutters etc.
· Used sign company to cut and print instructions on design for kit
· Using $3 webcam with flipped lens
· RPi is complicated for set up - using Image Builder Pi (pre-generate image for bootable drives), makes process easier.
§ Looking at ways to partner with other microscopes (modules etc.)
· RPi allows for remote capture of images
· Difficultly of making Microscope, not the optics -
o Mechanics Filed and controlled motion of samples
o FOV to be quantitative is important for citizen science applications (micronuclei assays to look at DNA damage, for instance)


Jenny, this was the summary for citizen science, not the DIT microscopy!


made edits, to put in a summary for this topic! @jcm80 hope you see it above!