Handheld spectral analyzer turns smartphone into medical diagnostic tool

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Handheld spectral analyzer turns smartphone into medical diagnostic tool

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed technology that enables a smartphone to perform lab-grade medical diagnostic tests that typically require large, expensive instruments. Costing only $550, the spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity (TRI)-Analyzer from Bioengineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Brian Cunningham’s lab attaches to a smartphone and analyzes patient blood, urine, or saliva samples as reliably as clinic-based instruments that cost thousands of dollars.

“Our TRI Analyzer is like the Swiss Army knife of biosensing,” said Cunningham, the Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering and director of the Micro + Nanotechnology Lab at Illinois. “It’s capable of performing the three most common types of tests in medical diagnostics, so in practice, thousands of already-developed tests could be adapted to it.”

In addition to its applications in health diagnostics, Cunningham said the TRI Analyzer can also be applied to point-of use applications that include animal health, environmental monitoring, drug testing, manufacturing quality control, and food safety. The patented technology is available for license.

A paper describing the results in detail, entitled “Multimode smartphone biosensing: the transmission, reflection, and intensity spectral TRI Analyzer,” will be published in an upcoming issue of Lab on a Chip, but is currently available online. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation.

See http://bioengineering.illinois.edu/news/article/23435

Handheld spectral analyzer turns smartphone into diagnostic tool

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