Instead of lugging a heavy microscope into the field, doctors and nurses in remote regions may have a more portable choice — a lightweight microscope that replaces lenses with holograms. Researchers at UCLA announced a prototype dual-mode microscope that’s lightweight, costs between $50 and $100 to produce and is similar in size to a banana. Like a hologram that uses interfering rays to create an image, this device shines light on a sample where its sensor chip (apparently also found in iPhones and BlackBerrys) and a cloud-based software program analyze the interference pattern and reconstruct an image of the sample. Since it’s dual-mode, both large samples and small samples can be analyzed through processes called “transmission” and “reflection,” and doctors could potentially use their laptops or smartphones to access the images remotely. Although still considered a prototype, researchers think the development has the opportunity to revolutionize health care by allowing doctors to test things like water, blood and food. Check out the full PR after the break.
UCLA creates portable microscope that uses holograms, not lenses originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 20:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.