Stanford engineers recently invented the Foldscope, which essentially creates a scaffold capable of holding a lens and an LED in alignment. A microscope can be placed in between, and the lens and focus changes as the paper is flexed back and forth.
Incredibly, the paper microscope can magnify things more than 2,000 times, a creation capable of changing the lives of people in developing countries by providing them with an affordable microscope and potentially creating more scientists across the globe.
“You learn to appreciate the microscopic cosmos by actually exploring it yourself,” lead developer Manu Prakash says. “In my mind, every biology book should have a Foldscope as the last page. Because you’re not just imparting knowledge, you’re also imparting the tools to gain that knowledge.”
Considering the Foldscope only costs $1 to make, being affordable isn’t the only perk of the device.
The paper microscope is also durable, portable and takes merely 10 minutes to assembly.