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­CLA Researchers Create Smartphone-Based Device That Reads Medical Diagnostic Tests Quickly and Accurately


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The ELISA platform incorporates a 3D printer and attaches to a smartphone.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles say they have developed a smartphone-based device that can read enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay plates in the field with the same level of accuracy as in clinical laboratories.

Credit: UCLA

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers say they have developed a mobile phone-based device that can read enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) plates in the field with the same level of accuracy as in clinical laboratories.

ELISA is a diagnostic tool that identifies antigens such as viruses and bacteria in blood samples.

"This mobile platform can be used for point-of-care testing, screening populations for particular diseases, or tracking vaccination campaigns in most resource-poor settings," says Aydogan Ozcan, associate director of the California NanoSystems Institute.

The device illuminates the ELISA plate with an array of light-emitting diodes. The light projects through each well and is collected by 96 individual plastic optical fibers in the attachment. The phone then transmits the resulting images to UCLA servers through a custom-designed app. The images are analyzed by a machine-learning algorithm, and the diagnostic results are sent back to the phone in about one minute.

Using 571 patient samples, the mobile platform achieved 99.6-percent accuracy in diagnosing mumps, 98.6 percent for measles, and 99.4-percent accuracy each for herpes simplex 1 and 2.

"Our team is focused on developing biomedical technologies that work with mobile platforms to assist with on-site testing and health care in disadvantaged or rural areas," says UCLA researcher Brandon Berg.

From UCLA Newsroom (CA)
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