Facile assembly of an affordable miniature multicolor fluorescence microscope made of 3D-printed parts enables detection of single cells

Autoři: Samuel B. Tristan-Landin aff001;  Alan M. Gonzalez-Suarez aff001;  Rocio J. Jimenez-Valdes aff001;  Jose L. Garcia-Cordero aff001
Působiště autorů: Unidad Monterrey, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Parque PIIT, Apodaca, Nuevo León, Mexico aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215114


Fluorescence microscopy is one of the workhorses of biomedical research and laboratory diagnosis; however, their cost, size, maintenance, and fragility has prevented their adoption in developing countries or low-resource settings. Although significant advances have decreased their size, cost and accessibility, their designs and assembly remain rather complex. Here, inspired on the simple mechanism from a nut and a bolt, we report the construction of a portable fluorescence microscope that operates in bright-field mode and in three fluorescence channels: UV, green, and red. It is assembled in under 10 min from only six 3D printed parts, basic electronic components, a microcomputer (Raspberry Pi) and a camera, all of which can be readily purchased in most locations or online for US $122. The microcomputer was programmed in Python language to capture time-lapse images and videos. Resolution and illumination conditions of the microscope were characterized, and its performance was compared with a high-end fluorescence microscope in bright-field and fluorescence mode. We demonstrate that our miniature microscope can resolve and track single cells in both modes. The instructions on how to assemble the microscope are shown in a video, and the software to control it and the design files of the 3D-printed parts are freely available online. Our portable microscope is ideal in applications where space is at a premium, such as lab-on-a-chips or space missions, and can find applications in basic and clinical research, diagnostics, telemedicine and in educational settings.

Klíčová slova:

3D printing – Bright field imaging – Fluorescence imaging – Fluorescence microscopy – Microfluidics – Optical lenses – Bright field microscopy – Video microscopy


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