From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Foldscope
Mains level : NA
Indian researchers have explored and validated the clinical utility of Foldscope in the diagnosis of diseases using various patient samples.
Though trivial, Foldscope is a significant invention with most crucial applications. It somehow offers an alternative to costly microscopes for some basic diagnosis.
What is Foldscope?
- Foldscope is an affordable origami-based microscopy device composed of a series of paper clippings.
- Upon assembly, the device can hold a specimen slide for observation, and this specimen can be viewed via a mobile phone camera attached to it.
How does it work?
- Foldscope can be assembled using paper clips and mounted on a cell phone using coupler and glue drops.
- To do the assessment, a patient sample like urine is smeared on a transparent glass slide and visualized under a Foldscope mounted on a cell phone.
- Sample images can be enlarged using the zoom function of the mobile, which can be stored on the mobile memory card for later reference/patient records.
- Foldscope visualizes calcium oxalate crystals, which are a major cause of kidney stones.
Utility of Foldscope
- Foldscope is particularly convenient to diagnose urinary tract infection (UTI) and monitor kidney stone.
- The study evaluated the use of Foldscope in the clinical diagnosis of oral and urinary tract infections.
- Using this tool, one can easily monitor own-kidney stone status at home with a simple glass-slide, a Foldscope and a phone in hand.
- Such monitoring could perhaps avoid kidney stone reaching a painful state or surgery in recurring cases.