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The clinical utility of Foldscope


The clinical utility of Foldscope in the diagnosis of diseases has been explored and validated by the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh. 


  • Foldscope is an affordable paper microscope. It was designed to be portable and durable while performing on par with conventional research microscopes.
  • The Foldscope helps in views very tiny things like bacteria, blood cells, and single-celled organisms. As well as larger things like insects, fabrics, organic tissues.
  • The study examined the use of the Foldscope in the clinical diagnosis of oral and urinary tract infections and evaluated its efficacy as a motivational tool for improving oral health among school children in India.

Smartphone mounted foldscope:

  • Foldscope is an origami-based microscopy device. It is composed of a series of paper clippings. The device can hold a specimen slide for observation, and this specimen can be viewed via a mobile phone camera attached to it. 


  • The study identifies that Foldscope is particularly convenient to diagnose urinary tract infection and monitor kidney stones. Using this tool, one can easily monitor their own-kidney stone status at home with a simple glass-slide, a Foldscope, and a phone. Such easy monitoring could perhaps avoid kidney stone reaching a painful state or surgery in recurring cases.
    • Foldscope is capable of visualizing calcium oxalate crystals, which are a major cause of kidney stones. Foldscope can thus be applied in regions where people are more prone to kidney stones due to environmental factors such as water quality.
  • Given the ease of operation and low cost, Foldscope may be employed in public healthcare centers for primary diagnosis of oral health and UTI or as a personal health monitoring device.
  • The researchers compare the Foldscope to a clinical microscope by examining five different types of clinical samples. Among other clinical samples, the Foldscope was effective in detecting infection in dental plaque samples and urine samples. 

Source: PIB