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DIY microscopy

Introduction


This project deals with simple ways to build microscopes out of cheap and easily accessible devices/parts.
A small hack to the optics of a standard webcam allows to create video data, with a magnification of around 100 to 400x (depending on the model and the setup) at a working distance of a few mm. The highest magnifications can be achieved by inverting (putting upside down) the lens. Addition of good lighting by the use of leds allows to create images using a bright-field method (shine through the stuff) or dark field method (shine from the side and look at the reflections and scattering).

Simple Instruction
Step 1: Getting prepared…
simple_microscope_step1_getting_started

Step 2: Play with the lens!
simple_microscope_step2_repositioning_lens

Step 3: Screw the lens, flip the lens, look at a pixel
simple_microscope_step3_flipping_lens

Step 4: Build a practical and nice setup
simple_microscope_step4_simple_setups

Videos
Tardigrade couple recorded with 1.3 Megapixel webcam from TW, 20$

Tardigrade recorded with cheap 0.3 Megapixel webcam from TW, 5$

Blepharisma at highest magnification with cheap 0.3 Megapixel webcam from TW, 5$

Other models and setups
Step 1: Hack the webcam and unsrew the lens
DIY_microscopy_other_setup_part1

Step 2: Remount the lens with an opaque-black tube and build a setup
DIY_microscopy_other_setup_part2

1.3mpx_cam_middle_lens_6.1px_0.84mm

Examples of Resolution
HTC HERO, 3,2-Zoll TFT-LCD Touchscreen mit HVGA-Auflösung (320 x 480)
3.2 inch = 81.28 mm
45mm / 320px = 140 micron

field_of_view_calculations_cheapcam

diy_microscopy_contrastmodes_side

Human leukocyte cells (nucleus stain of chromosomes), effects of chromatic aberation
DNA_stain_cell_nuclei

Fluorescent microbeads, diameter 1.8 micrometer
microbeads_fluorescence_colors

Fun Experiments

Beads of Thermoplastic Polymer from Struers, diameter approx 20-50 micron.

dusjagr_in_microbead

Looking at stuff, tardigrades, butterflies and amoebae…

webcam_micro_images_new



  1. eschertsai on Friday 31, 2009

    marc,

    any more details about the project?

    thanks~

  2. eschertsai on Friday 31, 2009

    sorry~
    find it in the hackteria wiki!

    thanks!

  3. Mac Cowell on Friday 31, 2009
  4. dusjagr on Friday 31, 2009

    i am working on the final project description. u can find lots of movies here:
    http://www.viddler.com/explore/dusjagr/

  5. Ken on Friday 31, 2009

    Dear Marc,

    I just finished the workshop on Nov.14 and 15 2009, it was a great fun. I would like to thank for your effort. I also want to know where I can down load the platform of pd or dusjagr!

    Thanks!

    Ken

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