Dotlens – Transform your Smartphone to a Microscope

Researchers at the University of Houston have created an optical lens that can be placed on almost any smartphone (or tablet) to super-magnify images, by a magnitude of 120, all for just 3 cents a lens. The special coating allows the lens to stick securely, but can be removed without staining. It’s compatible with almost all smartphones and tablets. Students, hobbyists, and even clinics can benefit from this nifty low-cost alternative to expensive, and bulky, traditional microscopes.


In a paper published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics, Wei-Chuan Shih and three graduate students describe how they produced the lenses and examined the image quality. The lens is made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a polymer, dropped precisely on a preheated surface to cure. Lens curvature and magnification depends on how long and at what temperature the PDMS is heated.

“Our lens can transform a smartphone camera into a microscope by simply attaching the lens without any supporting attachments or mechanism. The strong, yet nonpermanent adhesion between PDMS and glass allows the lens to be easily detached or replaced after use. An imaging resolution of 1 μm (micrometer) with an optical magnification of 120× has been achieved.” the researchers mentioned in the Journal of Biomedical Optics.

Sounds interesting ? Go to and get in on the crowdfunding campaign to get this lens. Starting at 10 bucks. No glue, no attachments, no hassles. Simply put dotlens in front of your smartphone camera and get ready for some Macro photography !!!


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