Low cost digital microscope with automated slide movement using arduino
The device allows one to take multiple images of the slide under high magnification, which can later be stitched together on a local or remote computer, paving the road for more accurate image analysis.
Step 1: What you will need
The digital microscope uses readily available parts and can be put together in less than $100.
• Lens assembly for the microscope – This can be newly purchased or can be salvaged from an old student microscope. We decided to buy a low cost student microscope ($50) and use the lens assembly for our project.
A 15X eyepiece and 45X objective lens were used for our project.
You will also need a 3.5 cm x 3.5 cm one way mirror to feed inside the periscope (as per 3D printed periscope design).
• Miniature stepper motors (2 nos.) from old CD-ROM drives – These can be easily sourced from second hand stores for less than $10.
One could also buy these along with a stage and movable carriage – http://www.aliexpress.com/item/New4-5V-2-phase-4-wire-stepper-motor-with-screw-drive-slider-slider-for-DIY-miniature/1139615226.html
The stepper motors are used to move the slide in a grid-wise manner.
• Microscope body – There are multiple options available for this
o Retain the microscope stand from the student microscope and use it to house the slide movement mechanism
o A good 3D model can also be found at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:92355
o We created our own design to best suit our needs. The modified design eliminates the additional space under the slide base, making the design more compact and ergonomic. The design also incorporates a mounting arrangement for the motor assembly and allows for unobstructed movement of the slide holder.
• Webcam to capture individual slide images.
• Stitching of the captured images is carried out using Fiji, an open-source image stitching tool – http://fiji.sc/Image_Stitching
• 0.5W LED – This is placed under the slide and is used for illuminating the image under the microscope
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