The ioLight portable microscope is an affordable, fully-functioning microscope that can be connected to smartphones and tablets, making the gadget the perfect classroom tool for science departments.

Costing around £700, the ioLight is much cheaper than conventional microscopes that cost around £3,000. However, it doesn’t have a screen, but instead uses your mobile devices as a viewfinder.

The fact it’s so connected means the images and video can be shared quickly and easily though. They can be pasted into documents or shared with other instantly via email or other means.

The ioLight is much smaller than a conventional microscope. It will fit into a pocket or rucksack pocket and is powered by a battery, meaning students aren’t just limited to the classroom when it comes to exploring their surroundings in detail.

It also uses standard microscope lenses, so no extras are needed to start working with the ioLight and it even has a resolution of 1µm, which is comparable with laboratory microscopes.

“Laboratory microscopes produce beautiful images, but cost over £3,000 and are difficult to use. Cheap microscopes do not have enough resolution for professional use or teaching,” the company said.

“ioLight has invented a portable microscope, with a resolution of better than 1μm, which produces beautiful pictures of animal and plant cells and displays them directly onto your tablet or mobile phone.”

ioLight is hoping to raise £150,000 on Crowdcube by the end of tomorrow to fund putting the microscope into production. The company has been funded by the founders and a seed funding round, which raised £160,000 from a number of early stage investors.

When ioLight has raised the extra £150,000 it needs, the device will be out into production by component manufacturers in Asia and the UK. It will be assembled in Hampshire, making it a British-made product.

ioLight is offering investors 10 per cent equity and with only ten per cent still to go on the campaign, it would be a real shame if the company missed out on its goal.