A Nokia 808 PureView smartphone has been used to do fluorescent imaging on individual nanoparticles and viruses. By clipping on a 3D-printed attachment that included a laser bought on eBay, researchers at the University of California (UCLA) were able to turn the smartphone into a microscope capable of imaging particles around 100 nanometres in size. Weighing only a fifth of a kilogram, the device could have uses for microscopic imaging in the field. The research is detailed in a paper published in ACS Nano.
In tests, the smartphone/add-on combo was able to detect fluorescence-labelled polystyrene beads down to 100 nanometres in size, as well a deadly type of virus called HCMV, which is between 150-300 nanometres in size. The results were cross-checked using a scanning electron microscope and a confocal microscope.
The lead professor also runs a startup called Holomic, which is "commercialising the smartphone inventions, but it's unclear how much the fluorescent microscope add-on would cost."
I thought I'd seen it all in terms of Nokia 808 imaging, but filming particles at 100 nanometres is new to me! Given the Nokia 808's prowess in imaging, I wonder what other innovative uses it will find in the coming years?