A Close Look at How ‘Paperfuges’ and ‘Foldscopes’ Could Save Billions of Lives for Just 68 Cents

Mark Rober visits Stanford University engineer Manu Prakash to take a close look at how the low-cost paper centrifuges called “Paperfuges” and foldable paper microscopes called “Foldscopes” developed at Prakash’s lab could help diagnose malaria in remote areas, potentially saving billions of lives for just 68 cents.

Rober even tested the inexpensive tools by spinning a sample of his own blood and examining the results under a Foldscope.

I met with Manu Prakash from Stanford to talk about 2 of his labs’ inventions the Foldscope and the Paperfuge. Combined these cost only 68 cents and they can be used to diagnose Malaria. Both of these are examples not only of simple, brilliant design, but of how engineering is used to make a positive dent in the world.