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Biosciences

Visualizing complex multiphysics processes

Screenshot of smart phone app for detection of pathogenic viruses shows assay control and analysis of assay endpoint using the phone’s built-in camera and image processing capabilities.

Our team has harnessed the versatility of generic smartphones (camera sensors and Bluetooth) to detect genetic material of viruses such as Zika, chikungunya, and dengue. Our smartphone wirelessly actuates a low-powered heater to initiate the nucleic acid amplification and a novel onboard image analysis algorithm, dramatically enhancing the detection capabilities beyond traditional smartphone-enabled approaches. The technology enabled us to construct a light-weight (<1 pound), inexpensive (<$50) and rapid detection (10-20 minutes) bioanalysis/diagnosis platform ideal for remote sensing in the field — even in low resource settings.