Foldscope: The Paper Microscope

Microscopes are crucial for diagnosing infectious disease. But in some ways they’re the worst possible device—heavy, expensive, and hard to maintain. Paper microscopes, also known as foldscopes, contain all the crucial parts within one foldable sheet of paper. They can be optimized for different diseases and cost less than a dollar.

Foldscope as a Teaching Tool

Foldscope provides a low cost and convenient way for teachers to give students a visual demonstration of the microscopic world of which they learn in their textbooks. Slides can be displayed on mobile phones or projected for classrooms.

What Can You See ?

With a magnification of 140x, you can see tiny things like bacteria, blood cells, and single-celled organisms like copepods, tardigrades, tetrahymena, diatoms, rotifers, nematodes and more. As well as larger things like a insects, fabrics, tissues! Foldscope can also allow the observation of non-biological samples, such as particulates detrimental to air quality, or the microscopic crystalline differences between real and fake medications.

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Flora & Fauna

Have students find something natural that they find interesting: one liquid and one solid.


View four crystals under magnification; Sugar (C12H22011), Salt (NaCl), Epsom salts [MgSO4.7H2O], and Alum [Al2(SO4)3.12H2O]

Human vs Frog Blood

The main difference between human blood cells and frog blood cells is that human red blood cells lack nuclei, whereas frog blood cells contain nuclei.

Human and Frog Lab Comparison

Identify differences between frog and human red blood cells by comparing slides of frog and human red blood cells.

Microscopic Identification of Fibers

Among microscopic tests and chemical tests, microscopic tests are mainly used for identifying natural fiber . This visual test can identify natural fibers more easily than manmade ones. 

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