A lens that can turn smartphone into a microscope

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  • Low-cost technology developed by IIT Bombay can be used to detect imprints on currency notes, blood cells
  • Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay have devised low-cost lenses that will elevate smartphone cameras to the power of a microscope.


  • The lens with a resolution of 1.4 micrometre, which has been prepared by using natural interface, has been successfully tested to verify the authenticity of currency notes and in biomedical applications like identifying infected blood cells and contaminants in water.
  • The lens was developed by Bhuvaneshwari Karunakaran as part of her PhD at the institute.
  • The idea was to build a microscope that could be used through a mobile phone and solve problems caused by spherical lenses.
  • Spherical disruptions is a phenomenon where light rays that strike the edges of the lens do not focus at the same location as the light that comes through the centre of the lens. We developed an alternative technology to make aspherical lenses. This lens could be used with a mobile phone and see things that a naked eye or a magnifying glass misses.
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