Smartphone-based low-cost microscope with monolithic focusing mechanism

Max B. Schäfer 1 , David Reichert 2 , Kent Stewart 2 , Alois M. Herkommer 3 , Carsten Reichert 3 ,  and Peter P. Pott 2
  • 1 Institute of Medical Device Technology (IMT), University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 9, 70569, Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2 Institute of Medical Device Technology (IMT), University of, Stuttgart, Germany
  • 3 Institute of Applied Optics (ITO), University of, Stuttgart, Germany


Microscopy enables fast and effective diagnostics. However, its functionality is not accessible to everyone. Smartphone-based low-cost microscopes could be a powerful tool for diagnostics and educational purposes. Current smartphone-based microscopy approaches struggle with high cost, poor image quality and/or insufficient smartphone compatibility. In this paper, a very feasible and effective lowcost microscope is presented which addresses these issues. To minimize cost, a monolithic foldable structure is designed for production by injection molding. The design has a high order of functional integration, minimizing the number of components, while still enabling a micrometer focusing accuracy.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.


Journal + Issues

Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering is an open access journal and closely related to the journal Biomedical Engineering - Biomedizinische Technik. CDBME is a forum for the exchange of knowledge in the fields of biomedical engineering, medical information technology and biotechnology/bioengineering for medicine and addresses engineers, natural scientists, and clinicians working in research, industry, or clinical practice.