How to Turn Your Smartphone Into a DIY Microscope

February 10, 2016 | Elizabeth Knowles

DIY smartphone microscope
Photo credit: Screenshot from Gross Science video

All you need is a cheap laser pointer and some poster tack.

If you’ve always been a closeted biologist or simply couldn’t afford a fancy microscope, here’s a solution for you. In the following video by Gross Science, host Anna Rothschild shows you how to make a simple DIY microscope.

You’ll need:

-       A smartphone
-       A laser pointer
-       Poster tack (also known as sticky tack)
-       A pencil
-       Paper
-       Clear plastic packaging

-       A flashlight

SEE ALSO: Biohackers Created Night Vision Eye Drops

You start by using the pencil to poke the lens out of the laser pointer and then use the poster tack to stick the lens to the camera on your smartphone — convex side up.

You can create a homemade slide and slide-cover using slips of plastic — Rothschild uses the packaging from her poster tack. By placing the paper on top of your flashlight and the slide on the paper, you’ll light it up nicely and make it easy to see.

Rothschild recommends collecting some water from a puddle, but really you can now observe anything you like! It may take you a bit of time to figure out how far apart to space the slide and your smartphone, but this is a DIY project afterall!

The world is your oyster — or should I say lab? Let us know what you observed!

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