Foldscope: A microscope which is very thin and is portable costing just 50 cents. It has a magnifying power of 140x.
Paperfuge: A centrifuge worth 18 cents that spins 10 times faster than a $10,000 centrifuge.
The best part about these devices is that they don’t require electricity for functioning and hence can be used in smaller towns and villages across the world where doctors do not have access to electricity for daily consumption. The entire set costs less than Rs 50 , hence making it extremely affordable.
The use of these devices?
To identify the cases of Malaria in remote areas across the world where hospitals are unable to provide the facilities for the same.
Why do we need these two devices for identification of Malaria?
The process to identify the presence of the Malaria parasite in the blood is to spin a sample of blood in a blood centrifuge at first and then observe it under a microscope.
Why target Malaria?
Out of the 100 billion people to have lived on our planet, over half of them have died from Malaria (According to this video)
According to the latest WHO estimates, released in December 2016, there were 212 million cases of malaria in 2015 and 429 000 deaths.
Manu Prakash is an Indian born scientist who is a Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University. He is best known for his Foldscope and Paperfuge. Prakash received the Macarthur Fellowsship in September 2016. He and his team are also working on a water droplet based computer in Stanford University. His work focuses on frugal innovation that makes medicine, computing and microscopy accessible to more people across the world.
P.S: He is an alumni of IIT, Kanpur!
Combined these cost only 68 cents and they can be used to diagnose Malaria. Both of these are examples not only of simple, brilliant design, but of how engineering is used to make a positive dent in the world.
Way to go Manu and Team!
His team includes:, , , ,
Pre-order a paper microscope here- https://www.foldscope.com/order
Read the published paper on the paper centrifuge – http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/08/30/072207
Here’s a video featuring him and his innovations!