Digital camera chip turned into lens-free microscope

2019-03-02 08:12:08

By Paul Marks OPTICAL microscopes used to be bulky instruments. Their basic components – lenses to magnify and focus an image – take up a lot of space, and are fragile and expensive to boot. Not any more. Researchers have squeezed a powerful microscope onto a single image-sensing chip, removing the need for lenses. The cheap, portable device could be just what medics in the developing world need to diagnose diseases such as malaria, its inventors suggest. “The whole microscope could fit into an iPod-sized device,” says Changhuei Yang of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Yang says the imaging chip itself could be disposable,