German researchers develop salt grain-sized 3D printed camera
Team of PhD students led by Timo Gissibl and Simon Thiele at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, have developed a salt grain-sized camera, which could one day change the future of imaging in health and security. The camera is 3D printed, and it is small enough to fit into a standard syringe needle. Interestingly, the camera is fitted with a LED and three lenses and is attached to a 5.6 foot optical fiber that is just equal to the width of two hair strands.
According to researchers, the optical fiber attached to the camera ensure that the injectable camera relays information from inside of the body to the doctors. The camera measure only 0.1 mm wide and about 0.12 mm with its casing. It can focus images from as close as 3 mm and relay the information via attached optical fiber.
Talking about the tiny camera that required just few hours to manufacture, researchers explain with current manufacturing techniques constructing tiny lenses is impossible but with 3D printing aka additive manufacturing it was possible to make a device as small as this.
The report published in the Nature Photonics journal says the camera can be used in intrusive endoscopes for imaging the inside of human body or in small security monitors or tiny robots.