Filipino Engineer Invents Microscope the Size of a Keychain

Estimated read time 2 min read

Jeremy De Leon is the inventor of the Make-roscope. SUPPLIED

A Filipino engineer has invented a keychain-sized microscope, winning the James Dyson Award in the Philippines.

The invention by 28-year-old Jeremy De Leon turns smartphones or tablets into a microscope. He calls it the Make-roscope, which can magnify organisms by up to 400 times.

His Make-roscope includes a kit with tweezers, keychain, cleaning cloth, blank glass sides, pipette, specimen tubes and cotton swabs.

The Manufacturing Engineering graduate of Mapua University bested 47 entries from 12 universities to win the Philippine leg of the James Dyson Award. He will now progress to the international stage to compete for the P2 million (Dh129,524) top prize that will be announced on November 15.

De Leon said he will use his P330,000 (Dh21,371) prize money to further develop his invention. The inventor said that his do-it-yourself microscope was born during the pandemic, for the Innovator Challenge by the Department of Science and Technology, which he also won.

He used the P25,000 that the won from the DOST competition to create a prototype for the Make-roscope.

During the pandemic, De leon said he thought that the Make-roscope would help people avoid getting Covid-19 from sharing laboratory apparatus.

A science enthusiast since he was a child, De Leon shared that he used to be scared of handling a microscope for fear of breaking the parts. He said that his mini-microscope gives more people access to affordable science equipment.

The young innovator made 1,000 pieces of his Make-roscope that he gave away to teachers, students and organizations in the Philippines. The kit is also available on and on Shopee for P549 (Dh35.50). ICA/Expat Media

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