The OpenFlexure Microscope in use in the Cavendish laboratory.

The OpenFlexure project aims to make high precision mechanical positioning available to anyone with a 3D printer - for use in microscopes, micromanipulators, and more. It has been funded so far through several research grants, and most of the core development team are based at the University of Bath and the University of Cambridge.

Our biggest priority at the moment is a collaborative project between the Universities of Bath and Cambridge (UK), Ifakara Health Institute (Bagamoyo, Tanzania), and Bongo Tech & Research Labs (Bagamoyo, Tanzania). This aims to develop the microscope as a tool for malaria diagnostics, and has now run for nearly four years. All the microscopes used in the clinical study have been produced in Tanzania by BTech, and we have amassed a large dataset of blood smear images. We are working with BTech towards the eventual goal of certification, for manufacturing microscopes for medical use in Tanzania. This GCRF-funded project informs our development priorities at the moment.

Joram at IHI using the OpenFlexure Microscope to image blood smears.

There’s now a vibrant community using and developing the microscope, spanning continents, disciplines and sectors. The forum is our hub and is the best place to find many of the people and groups who are involved.

We are always keen to form new collaborations with people and organisations interested in using and/or contributing to the project. The best place to introduce yourself is through the forum. Discussions of a more sensitive or confidential nature are best left to an email, but please bear with us as it can take a while to get to the bottom of the inbox!