Pocket microscope images malaria in red blood cells

Malaria remains a major problem across large areas of the world.  Yen Chin, Viola Introini and Prof Pietro Cicuta working on Biological and Soft Systems at the Cavendish Lab, Cambridge University are studying the mechanical properties of red blood cells by using optical tweezers to manipulate cells. One of the uses of this work is to study cells infected with malaria and investigate how the infection is passed from one red blood cell to another.

Whilst in Prof Cicuta’s lab, he suggested that we give the ioLight pocket microscope a really difficult  test and see if it can image a slides of malaria infected red blood cells that had just been produced for his research and was being used with conventional microscopes in his lab on the day ioLight visited.

For this test we used the standard ioLight microscope and its built-in illuminator below the sample. To increase the contrast in the image we raised the sample approx. 5mm. The whole test was done on a corner of a computer desk next to the keyboard – ie in the small space in which you normal use the mouse! – the iPad was either handheld, or rested in on the computer keyboard, so no bench space was required.

Red blood cells - pocket microscope ioLight

Red blood cells showing normal cells, and those with black areas which is evidence of maleria infection

Within just a couple of minutes the microscope produced the image above, which clearly shows the red blood cells, and differentiates normal red blood cells from those with an internal black area, which indicates that the cell has been infected with malaria.

This is a great demonstration of the 1µm resolution of the ioLight microscope and shows how good images can be obtained directly to a tablet or phone without the need for bench space!

#TheVideoShow reviews the ioLight video

ioLight portable microscope video review

#TheVideoShow 64 ioLight pocket microscope video

Great video, tiny microscope

Every company needs a video! On a hot summer’s day in 2016 ioLight’s Andrew Monk went pond dipping in Whitchurch’s beautiful Millenium Meadow with Mark Harman of Red Book Productions. The result was ioLight’s Product Demonstration video, which shows Andrew using the ioLight pocket microscope in the field.

A couple of months later, and several degrees cooler,  Mark and Andrew met up again to discuss how they made the microscope video and how it has helped ioLight’s business.

You can watch their conversation in episode 64 of #TheVideoShow.

Lab resolution in your pocket

The ioLight video field microscope is the world’s first portable high resolution microscope. It delivers beautiful images and videos from the microscope directly onto a tablet or phone so that the whole team can see and share them. Image quality is similar to that of a laboratory microscope, but the ioLight microscope fits into your pocket, so you can take it anywhere.

The ioLight pocket microscope is already being used by Cambridge and Exeter universities, Bayer, The Eden Project and many other researchers and teachers that want to take science into the field or seminar room without compromising on quality.

In the video, ioLight’s Andrew Monk explains his personal passion for communicating science. The ioLight microscope is an invaluable tool for STEM education because it is so portable and simple to use but still delivers great quality images that are easy to paste into homework or Nobel Prize winning reports. Young scientists particularly love seeing images and videos from the microscope on the screen of a tablet, which is less complicated than a traditional laboratory microscope and less expensive too.

Watch #TheVideoShow to see how Mark and Andrew got on making the video and how easy it is to use compared with a laboratory microscope.

Eden Project endorses the world’s first portable high resolution microscope

The Eden Project uses the ioLight microscope to investigate plant disease

eden-2-6-10-16ioLight is delighted to announce that the Eden Project is now a customer and using the ioLight pocket microscope in their study of plant disease and soil samples.

Launched in 2016, the ioLight microscope is the first professional quality pocket digital microscope. It fits in a jacket pocket, is simple to use and robust. It unfolds quickly to record and share 5MP still images and real time HD video at a magnification of x200 on an iPad Air.

Based in Cornwall, England, the Eden Project is an educational charity that is nestled in a huge crater which was formerly a china clay pit. It includes two massive Biomes – the larger one housing the largest rainforest in captivity, the other showcasing areas of the world that have a Mediterranean climate. Both the covered biomes and the outdoor area contain stunning plants and exhibitions.

The Eden Project trialled the ioLight microscope for a number of months, mainly looking at plant disease and soil samples but also for public demonstrations, before making their decision to purchase.
Chris Bisson, Policy Development Manager at the Eden Project, says “Here at the Eden Project we have used the ioLight Digital Microscope for a wide range of activities, from investigating plant diseases to
demonstrating the microscopic world of pond water to school children. It’s really easy to use and has been brilliant for enthusing both children and adults in the microscopic world around us.”

The resolution of the ioLight microscope is 1 micron, that’s 1/1,000 mm – powerful enough to see the structure of plant and animal cells. The product uses standard microscope slides and features adjustable top and bottom illumination for use on both biological and opaque samples. It is particularly good for live samples, which deteriorate on the journey back to the lab, and it works anywhere, even without a WiFi or mobile phone network. at what can one of the most stressful times for animal owners.

Rachel Warmington, Plant Pathologist at Eden, has been using the microscope in her study of Panama disease, a disease that has no chemical control and threatens to destroy the world’s supply of bananas.

The portability of the ioLight microscope has been particularly useful as it is imperative that no pathogens are allowed entry into the Biomes.
In addition, Rachel has been looking at the powdery mildew Erysiphe graminis synonym Blumeria graminis which has ascospores of 20-24 microns x 10-14 microns. “Having a personal microscope has proved extremely useful and is a great way to capture images.”

Last year, more than 47,000 school children visited Eden, and with an increase expected this year the microscope is a wonderful opportunity for children to experience science up close. It is perfect for field trips: students and teachers can carry portable microscopes in their bags and connect them to personal tablets or phones.

Just as the compact digital camera made photography available to anyone, the ioLight microscope is always available to look at pond water, plant cells and anything else that comes to hand.

Portable Microscopy Sells Micro-Engineering

 Portable Field Microscopy - Great article in Micro Matters iolight article dec 2016

Portable Field Microscopy – Great article in Micro Matters.

Portable Field Microscopy: Great article in Micro Matters about the ioLight portable microscope – read the article on page 22