The OpenFlexure Project. The technical challenges of Co-Developing a microscope in the UK and Tanzania

Julian Stirling, Valerian L. Sanga, Paul T. Nyakyi, Grace A. Mwakajinga, Joel T. Collins, Kaspar Bumke, Joe Knapper, Qingxin Meng, Samuel McDermott, Richard Bowman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The OpenFlexure Microscope is a 3D-printed laboratory-grade motorised microscope. Over the past 3 years, the microscope has primarily been co-developed between the University of Bath and the Tanzanian engineering company STICLab. We are beginning the process of preparing the microscope for medical certification, as an in-vitro diagnostic device. In this paper we detail the technical challenges of remote design of a complex scientific instrument. We believe that identifying and solving these issues is essential if we are to encourage research organisations in the Global North to design instrumentation with Africans, rather than "for Africa".

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2020
Place of PublicationU. S. A.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728173887
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2020
Event10th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2020 - Virtual, Seattle, USA United States
Duration: 29 Oct 20201 Nov 2020

Publication series

Name2020 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2020


Conference10th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2020
CountryUSA United States
CityVirtual, Seattle


  • Co-Design
  • Distributed manufacturing
  • Medical Devices
  • Microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Development
  • Health(social science)

Cite this