skip to content

Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory

WaterScope ( ), led by Dr. Alexander Patto, is a not-for-profit, impact driven company spun out of research conducted within the Department of Physics. Using an open-source flexure microscope (, developed by Dr Richard Bowman in Professor Jeremy Baumberg's Nanophotonics group, WaterScope are developing rapid, automated water testing kits and affordable diagnostics to empower developing communities. In parallel their microscopes are being used for education, to inspire future scientists; WaterScope currently have over 10 microscopes around the world, including India, Tanzania and Columbia. Further, WaterScope’s open-source microscope is supporting local initiatives, with companies such as STIClab in Tanzania making medical microscopes from recycled plastic bottles. WaterScope are 2 years old and currently a team of five consisting of Alexander Patto, Richard Bowman, Nalin Patel, Tianheng Zhao and Sammy Mahdi. Their work and impact has recently been recognised, being awarded the Overall Winner of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award.