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The lenses can identify fake currency notes. (Representational)

Researchers at IIT-Bombay said they have developed a robust and inexpensive technique to manufacture small lenses that have the ability to provide an in-depth look into our blood cells or identify fake currency notes.

The technique, by Professor Soumyo Mukherji of Department of Bioscience and Bioengineering along with Debjani Paul and Dr Karuneshwari Karunakaran, can allow anyone to make such a lens for under Rs 2.

“Traditionally, lenses have been fabricated by polishing and grinding glass or moulding plastic against a template. These methods are expensive as they require skilled workmanship and costly equipment. However, we developed an alternative method using fluids,” said Mukherji.

The researchers have used these lenses to develop a  “smartphone microscope” — the lens is placed on a smartphone camera.

The microscope has a resolution of 1.4 micrometres, comparable to an optical microscope, and was used to detect pollen grains on a slide and micro-patterns on banknotes. The lenses also have a wide range of biomedical applications.

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