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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Colorimetric detection for paper-based biosensing applications
Author(s): C. Brink; T-H. Joubert

Paper Abstract

Research on affordable point-of-care health diagnostics is rapidly advancing1. Colorimetric biosensor applications are typically qualitative, but recently the focus has been shifted to quantitative measurements2,3. Although numerous qualitative point-of-care (POC) health diagnostic devices are available, the challenge exists of developing a quantitative colorimetric array reader system that complies with the ASSURED (Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User-friendly, Rapid and Robust, Equipment-free, Deliverable to end-users) principles of the World Health Organization4.

This paper presents a battery powered 8-bit tonal resolution colorimetric sensor circuit for paper microfluidic assays using low cost photo-detection circuitry and a low-power LED light source. A colorimetric 3×3-pixel array reader was developed for rural environments where resources and personnel are limited. The device sports an ultralow-power E-ink paper display. The colorimetric device includes integrated GPS functionality and EEPROM memory to log measurements with geo-tags for possible analysis of regional trends.

The device competes with colour intensity measurement techniques using smartphone cameras, but proves to be a cheaper solution, compensating for the typical performance variations between cameras of different brands of smartphones. Inexpensive methods for quantifying bacterial assays have been shown using desktop scanners, which are not portable, and cameras, which suffer severely from changes in ambient light in different environments. Promising colorimetric detection results have been demonstrated using devices such as video cameras5, digital colour analysers6, flatbed scanners7 or custom portable readers8. The major drawback of most of these methods is the need for specialized instrumentation and for image analysis on a computer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 February 2017
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 10036, Fourth Conference on Sensors, MEMS, and Electro-Optic Systems, 100360I (3 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2245448
Show Author Affiliations
C. Brink, Univ. of Pretoria (South Africa)
T-H. Joubert, Univ. of Pretoria (South Africa)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10036:
Fourth Conference on Sensors, MEMS, and Electro-Optic Systems
Monuko du Plessis, Editor(s)

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