Washington: Researchers have used novel techniques to modify inexpensive imaging devices, like a webcam selling for ten euros and a mobile phone camera, into a mini-microscope.
The resolution of such mini-microscopes was dependent on the pixel size of the sensor, but sufficient for identification of several pathogenic parasites.
Dr. Johan Lundin and Dr. Ewert Linder were able to use the mini-microscopes they constructed to yield images of parasitic worm eggs present in urine and stools of infected individuals.
For diagnostics at the point-of-care they developed a highly specific pattern recognition algorithm that analyses the image from the mini-microscope and automatically detects the parasite eggs.
Dr. Lundin said that the results can be exploited for constructing simple imaging devices for low-cost diagnostics of urogenital schistosomiasis and other neglected tropical infectious diseases.
He said that with the proliferation of mobile phones, data transfer networks and digital microscopy applications the stage is set for alternatives to conventional microscopy in endemic areas.
In the study published in journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.