Taking advantage of the latest advances in smartphone technology and the limitless possibilities of Lego, scientists from Germany have created a cheap and simple high-resolution microscope. Part educational and part toy, this full-featured science tool isn’t just for visualizing microscopic objects. The authors of the development note that it can be used to teach children.
Researchers from the Universities of Göttingen and Münster (Germany) have set themselves the task of improving access to high-resolution microscopes. The point is that they are usually too expensive and fragile for home use.
When creating the microscope, scientists used modern smartphones that are equipped with very advanced lenses. The cost of one lens cost scientists only $ 5 apiece.
The scientists then designed a high-resolution microscope frame using only Lego building blocks. The authors of the development emphasize that the capabilities of their device are close to that of modern research microscopes – with the help of it, images of micrometer-sized objects can be obtained.
Also, scientists have prepared a manual for self-assembly of the device with step-by-step instructions. Children from 9 years old will cope with the task. The plans and instructions for the microscope are freely available, and an article describing the study was published in The Biophysicist 2021.