The Foldscope, developed by Manu Prakash, contains three stages - a specimen stage in which the slide is placed, an optics stage that holds a ball lens and an illumination stage that contains an LED light.

In order to view the specimen sample, users have to place their eyebrow against the paper with their eye close to the lens, in a fashion similar to the use of a traditional microscope.

Magnification and image panning are controlled by the user's thumbs, including sliding to view different parts of the image and using a simple flexing mechanism to control magnification, according to a daily.

Field testing has revealed several concerns about using Foldscope, including eye strain, ergonomics and examining potentially infectious samples so close to one's body.

Researchers are therefore developing a different type of microscope for certain riskier circumstances.

The specialised microscope will feature a projection system that allows for a magnified image to be projected against a wall.

Future Foldscopes will be designed so that each type of disease will have a correlating microscope meant exclusively for that disease, researchers said.

This will minimise price and bypass the difficult process of optimisation seen with traditional multipurpose microscopes, they said.

"We have a very simple goal that every single kid in the world should grow up with a microscope," Prakash said."We should all be carrying around microscopes in our pocket all the time," he said.


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