Thursday, 12 February 2015

Stereo microscope stage for insects made out of LEGO®

The IMps. Photo courtesy of Dupont et al via ZooKeys. Licence: CC: BY.

I loved LEGO® as a child. It's been a long, long time since I last played with it, but I think I've just found a project that will encourage me back into it. A group of entomologists at the Natural History Museum have developed some designs to create microscope stages (dubbed IMps) with two axes of movement out of LEGO pieces, and have released them to the world in a paper published in Zookeys. These microscope stages allow fine movement of specimens under the microscope, allowing one to precisely manoeuvre the specimen in order to see or photograph particular structures. The designs published by Dupont et al are an elegant, portable and cheap solution; with the added benefit of playing with LEGO.

Dupont S, Price B, Blagoderov V. 2015. IMp: The customizable LEGO® Pinned Insect Manipulator. ZooKeys 481: 131–138.