Have any of you had this difficulty with the Foldscope? After scanning your sample for a few minutes, you find an awesome micro-structure you’ve never seen before. Excitedly, you hand your Foldscope to a friend so they can see it too, and they see… nothing. Not only has the sample gone out of focus, but the lens has moved quite a bit from the location you were just looking at. The Foldscope team has been very much aware of this hurdle, and we have been thinking of innumerable ways to tackle this issue.
I am happy to report that the development of a focus-locking model of Foldscope is well on its way. Meaning, once you find a cool microstructure and get it into focus, it’s set. You can hand the Foldscope to a friend and they will see the exact same thing you just saw (unless you have a living sample moving about, see the copepod below!).
Here’s an image of the latest prototype at work, and a process I like to refer to as laptop microscopy:
I can’t reveal too much right now, as the design is subject to change, but I would like to leave some sample footage of focus locking in action.