Pinoy invents keychain-sized microscope, wins international competition

Victoria Tulad, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 15 2023 07:12 PM | Updated as of Sep 15 2023 07:31 PM

MANILA — Have you ever wondered how an ant looks like up close? How about a mosquito larvae?

Through the invention of 28-year-old Jeremy de Leon, you can now see microorganisms without the help of the typical microscope in laboratories.

The "make-roscope" is so small it can be carried like a keychain.

But don’t underestimate its power because it can magnify organisms up to 400 times.

De Leon made the "make-roscope" in 2021 as an entry to the Department of Science and Techology’s (DOST) TikTok challenge, where it bagged the first place.

"Nagkaroon ng need during pandemic ng laboratory tools. Na-realize natin sarado classes, sarado schools, paano naman ang students na kailangan ma-engage sa science?" he said.

"Bagay 'tong microscope kasi kahit sa bahay lang masasabayan mo si teacher sa online classes at saka very safe," De Leon added.

De Leon said the "make-roscope" can also address the shortage of microscopes in schools as his invention only costs P54.

Even an international design competition was impressed with De Leon's work that it won in the Philippine leg of the contest and is automatically included in the international phase.

Included in "make-roscope" kit is the "make-roscope," a small lens inside a food-grade silicone case. Even if you drop it, it will not break. 

Also in the kit are three glass slides with different specimens, a cloth, slide cleaner, droppers, a card with instructions, and a hook that is used to turn the "make-roscope" into a keychain.

The "make-roscope" is easy to use as you only need to put it on the front camera of your cellphone or tablet.

So far, De Leon and his team have sold 6,000 "make-roscopes" to different schools.

He said the reaction of students was heartwarming.

"Nagse-send sila ng mga videos na pupunta sa mga remote areas... Dinala namin ang make-roscope sa Basilan para magkaroon ng experiential learning," he said.

De Leon hopes that through the "make-roscope," he will be able to spark the curiosity of the younger generation for science.

He also dreams of making this available to the world.