The Openflexure Microscope was our first product designed by Dr Richard Bowman. It is a 3D printed open-source microscope that can be assembled in the classroom and used as an education tool for students and teachers.
The Openflexure microscope will be for sale on the WaterScope website shortly. However, in the mean time if you have a 3D printer, you can find the STL files online at github.com/openflexure_microscope.
We offer Open Source Education Cards for teachers interested in using the OpenFlexure Microscope in the classroom.
The WaterScope microscope allows incubation and detection of specific bacterial colonies. We are currently developing two systems to refine the way this technology works; a bacterial imaging device and novel bacterial cartridge.
Bacterial imaging system
Novel bacterial cartridge
Our bacterial imaging device can identify specific bacterial micro-colonies more than four times faster than current gold-standard portable systems. Our system is automated, not requiring significant user training. Using image recognition software, bacterial colonies can be automatically identified and counted, making it simple to use. Once data is collected the bacterial imaging device can automatically upload and disseminate results for mapping or intervention.
Our novel bacterial cartridge simplifies bacterial testing. Using the cartridge, testers do not require access to a central lab, expensive equipment and significant user training, unlike existing systems. This allows bacterial testing to be extremely accessible. The cartridge can identify different bacteria, including E. Coli, Cholera, and MRSA.
- Quantifies bacterial growth by counting specific micro-colonies
- Same-day results
- Automatic image collection and analysis
- Portable and affordable
- Automates sample collection
- Simple to use
- Allows for consistent sample collection
- Simple to use requiring little training
- Permits bacterial testing in even the most remote locations
- Allows testing of different disease bacteria
Product development timeline
- Initial proof-of-principle experiments with Open-flexure microscope
- Observation of bacterial growth
- Business plan drafting
July 2016 - December 2016
- Initial designs for cartridge and testing device were drawn out
- Try-it award obtained
- Business plan development
Redesign of prototype, version 1
Cambridge Field trial
Nyarugusu refugee camp field trial with Oxfam
Development and testing of Cartridge system
September 2017- July 2018
Minimal viable prototype development, version 2
August 2018-October 2018
- Cambridge field trial
Validation of system performance
September 2018- January 2019
Bangladesh and India field trial