Fitting 'smart' mobile phone with magnifying optics creates 'real' cell phone

Dec 17, 2012

By fitting a "smart" mobile phone with magnifying optics, bioengineers at the University of California, Berkeley created a real "cell" phone, a diagnostic-quality microscope that can be used by clinics in developing countries and inside—and outside—American biology classrooms, according to Eva M. Schmid, PhD, who described the development of CellScope at the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting, Dec. 17, in San Francisco.

Dr. Schmid, who is in the bioengineering and biophysics lab of Daniel Fletcher, PhD, said that the UC Berkeley researchers initially envisioned a mobile phone-microscope so rugged that it could be used for outside traditional laboratory environments, especially for disease diagnostics in developing countries. But, after a chance encounter with a secondary school science teacher, Dr. Schmid and her colleagues decided to evaluate CellScope in an alternate environment: a middle school science classroom at the San Francisco Friends School.

Over the course of a year, the middle schoolers participated in the development of educational CellScopes by carrying out a "Micro:Macro" project outside the classroom, where they took macroscopic and microscopic pictures of objects in their homes, gardens, parks and playgrounds. Dr. Schmid said that the captured images were displayed in real time on the 's touch screen and were viewed simultaneously by multiple individuals, thereby sparking interactive discussions among students and teachers.

Image modifications and annotations were performed directly on the smartphone screen, and results were subsequently posted to social media platforms for further discussions. Now the devices are being tested for educational outreach with other classrooms and museums. Researchers at the University of Hawaii have taken the CellScopes and their students to the beach to monitor plankton diversity, Dr. Schmid said.

Explore further: Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

More information: "From lab to classroom: Science with mobile phone microscopes," Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, 12:30-2 pm, Session: Science Education, presentation: 989 poster: B219, Exhibit Halls A-C

cellscope.berkeley.edu

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Arizona coma patient now speaking, walking

Dec 23, 2011

(AP) -- It will be a special Christmas for the family of a 21-year-old University of Arizona student who was nearly taken off life support but is now recovering after waking up from a coma.

Researchers turn cell phones into fluorescent microscopes

Jul 22, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are proving that a camera phone can capture far more than photos of people or pets at play. They have now developed a cell phone microscope, ...

The Growing Market for 'War Porn' -- What's Going On?

May 17, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- "War porn" -- videos viewed for entertainment that feature gruesome footage of dead American soldiers or the killing of soldiers and civilians in the Middle East wars -- are growing in numbers online, in ...

South Koreans start using mobiles at 10: survey

Oct 07, 2011

More than 90 percent of schoolchildren in South Korea own a mobile phone and they start using them at an average age of 10 years and fours months, according to a survey published Friday.

Researchers find quick candida test

Aug 02, 2011

A team led by a Massey University researcher has developed a diagnostic tool that could save the lives of some of the 60 people estimated to die each year in New Zealand from the fungal infection candidemia – and thousands ...

Recommended for you

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Researchers develop new model of cellular movement

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Cell movement plays an important role in a host of biological functions from embryonic development to repairing wounded tissue. It also enables cancer cells to break free from their sites of ...

For resetting circadian rhythms, neural cooperation is key

Apr 17, 2014

Fruit flies are pretty predictable when it comes to scheduling their days, with peaks of activity at dawn and dusk and rest times in between. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports on April 17th h ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...