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KIAS offering short course on smartphone microscopy in July

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Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences (KIAS) is offering a short course on smartphone microscopy design, fabricate, test, and report.

 When: 20 – 21 July 2019

Where: Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences, Bagdol, Lalitpur

Target participants: BS/MS students of science and engineering

Number of participants: 15

Application deadline: 05 July 2019

Fee: NRs. 100/- (covers free access to lectures, demonstrations, course materials, laboratory facility, lunch and snacks/tea/coffee, CERTIFICATE)

Application process: Submit your online application form HERE. Selection notice will be sent by 10 July 2019.

Course description

An optical microscope provides a detailed and magnified image of an object. Resolution and magnification are two important parameters that determine the performance of a microscope. In recent years, optical microscopes capable of imaging an object at resolution down to few tenth of nanometer are available [1]. Such microscopes are not easily affordable and usually need specialized knowledge to operate. This makes their availability difficult in resource limited settings.

 If an object having size of few micrometer to few tenth of micrometer is to be imaged, then a high end microscope is not necessarily required. In recent years, smartphone based microscopic systems are emerged as cheaper alternative. Such systems, depending on design, can provide magnification and resolution as high/good as 1500X and 0.5µm, respectively. There is increasing trend in use of smartphone microscope for applications, such as food/water quality monitoring, sensing, healthcare monitoring, and science education.

Although the advancements in smartphone have sparked a lot of enthusiasm in the scientific community, this field lacks wider recognition in Nepal.

This short course aims to raise awareness of this technology by providing a platform for inter-disciplinary learning for undergraduate and graduate students of various fields in Nepal. Participants will get acquainted with the basics of smartphone microscopyand then they will learn to use in; a) imaging a eukaryotic cell, b) RBC counting, c) characterization of fibrous materials. Finally, students will submit the report of their class. After completing the course, students will be able to design a smartphone microscope (SM) using a ball lens, lens mount, and light source, use image processing software for image analysis, and learn basics of report writing.

[1] Stender et al (2013). Single Cell Optical Imaging and Spectroscopy. Chem. Rev., 113, 2469–2527.


Topics covered

  1. Fundamentals of microscopy
  2. Introduction on new ways to use smartphones for science
  3. Design and fabrication of SM – theory and hands on practice
  4. Image processing and sizing information – theory and hands on practice
  5. Experiment: Preparation and imaging of onion cell using a SM
  6. Experiment: Characterization of fibrous materials using a SM
  7. Experiment: RBC counting using SM and hemocytometer
  8. Report writing


  1. Bhanu Bhakta Neupane (PhD in Spectroscopy and microscopy, Kansas state university, USA)
  2. Basant Giri (PhD in microfluidics, University of Wyoming, USA)
  3. Retina Shrestha (MS in Biotechnology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
  4. Pravin Pokhrel (BS in Biotechnology, Purbanchal University, Nepal)