BERKELEY (CBS SF) – Researchers at UC Berkeley developed a microscope that used a smartphone to detect parasitic worms in a person’s blood. The new device, called a CellScope, could help provide critical information to health providers in the field.
“The video CellScope provides accurate, fast results that enable health workers to make potentially life-saving treatment decisions in the field,” UC Berkeley associate chair and bioengineering professor Daniel Fletcher said in a university statement.READ MORE: COVID: Omicron Variant Found In San Francisco, Are New Travel Rules Looming?
To make the device, researchers paired a smartphone and a 3-D printed plastic base that holds the sample of blood. The base holds LED lights, circuitry, gears and a USB port and is controlled by an app.READ MORE: A's, Giants Players Locked Out As MLB Owners Vote To Trigger First Work Stoppage Since 1995
A video provided by the university shows the device in action.
When a healthcare worker activates the app, gears move the blood sample in front of the camera and an algorithm determines how many parasitic worms are in the sample. Researchers said the test takes two minutes and is as accurate as conventional screening methods.MORE NEWS: New COVID Variant 'Omicron' Identified In San Francisco; Here's What You Need To Know
The CellScope was tested in Cameroon, which is battling with river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, both debilitating parasitic worm diseases. Researchers plan to expand studying the CellScope to 40,000 people.