Feeds

Optical add-on turns cameraphone into mobile lab

Strap-on microscope to help analyse bodily fluids

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Medical boffins have redesigned the humble cameraphone, developing a strap-on microscope that’s able to snap images of miniscule microbes.

cameraphone_microscope

The cameraphone microscope can snap pictures of blood samples

Designed by a team at the University of California, the strap-on is designed to zoom in on blood and other bodily fluid samples that may contain nasty diseases.

In tests, the team connected to microscope onto a 3.2Mp Nokia N73 cameraphone and were able to capture colour images of malaria parasites, sickled red blood cells and tuberculosis bacilli.

The cameraphone microscope uses standard, inexpensive microscope eyepieces and objectives. Using different objectives allows the microscope’s magnification and resolution to be adjusted, the team noted.

Cameraphone microscope

The microscope snapped this picture of malaria-infected blood

Medical nasties measuring a minimum of 1.2 micrometers across can be seen by the microscope. To put that into perspective, red blood cells typically measure between six and eight micrometers across.

Although good surrounding light levels result in the best microscope snaps, the team also built a battery-powered LED lamp and selection of accompanying filters into the strap-on – allowing it to function as a fluorescent microscope.

However, image quality can be affected by imperfections and aberrations on a mobile phone’s lens, the team admitted.

At present, the phone simply records the image of what its camera sees through the lens, after which it’s up to the doctors to analyse the image for signs of infection.

cameraphone_microscope_02.jpg

Different objectives allow the microscope’s magnification and resolution to be adjusted

But the boffins claimed that “simple image processing software” may make it possible for the handset’s processing capability and microscope to be used as a way of labelling and counting bacteria.

Healthcare workers currently perform such counts by eye, the team said, which is both time consuming and error prone.

It’s doubtful you’ll ever see the cameraphone microscope gracing high street stores in the UK. But the technology could prove a lifesaving benefit in areas where access to a cameraphone and mobile network is far easier than to a doctor, microscope and laboratory. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you text that
Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola
The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond
Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc
Take a look at this new NFC jewellery – why, what were you thinking of?
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.