We have already seen previously different attempts to convert a simple mobile phone camera into a powerful microscope able to expand the daily reality and bring it closer to our screens. However, few could imagine that a group of engineers from the University of UCLA in Los Angeles would be able to go beyond and achieve adapt the smartphone to the analysis of DNA molecules.
Is the research group of Professor Aydogan Ozcan what has been working for some time, with the first positive results in December 2014, and that now seem to be on the right track in the detection of infections and diseases like Alzheimer’s.
according to SIMPLYYELLOWPAGES,The microscope consists of two parts: a first where going all mobile external optics, filters and a diode laser, which are recessed in a printed cover in 3D. The smartphone is placed on the front of this housing and it installs a specific application for Windows phone (for the moment) that manages the entire system.
Its main advantage is the size and portability. Although it may seem in the photos that the housing is a little big for the day to day, his intention is not to let us always take it over, but reduce the need for huge devices typically used for this kind of applications and permit their use in remote locations, without resources and the would be economically unfeasible to carry a conventional team.
A resolution of 10,000 base pairs
What results are you getting? As Özcan claim that they are currently able to of accurately detect DNA segments with lengths of 10,000 base pairs or higher. That’s very little? To make us an idea, also says that many important genes move in that range, including some important bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus.
Below 5,000 base pairs the current system ceases to be accurate, although its creators claim that it is question of using another lens with a greater numerical aperture, making the smartphone around a portable laboratory.