O. Alonso,N. Franch,J. Canals,K. Arias-Alpízar,E. de la Serna,E. Baldrich,A. Diéguez

Biosensors and Bioelectronics

Volume 154, 15 April 2020, 112074




A miniature internet of things (IoT)-based point-of-care testing (PoCT) fluorescence reader, able to perform both intensity and time-resolved measurements of different fluorescent tags, is presented. This low cost platform has been conceived for performing tests in low-resource and remote settings, displaying versatile performance and yet simple operation. It consists on an external case of 43 × 30 × 42 mm3 (built in a 3D-printer) where all the elements are fixed, including some basic optics (3 lenses and 2 filters), a laser diode and a custom designed Single-Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs) camera. Both, the laser and the camera are controlled by a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) with IoT capabilities.

The PoCT was validated by detecting Plasmodium antigen in a fluorescent enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using a fluorescence substrate. The results were compared to those provided in parallel by two commercial fluorescent plate readers. As it will be shown, the PoCT fluorescent readout was more sensitive than its colorimetric counterpart. Furthermore, the PoCT displayed similar signal trends and levels of detection than the bulkier and more expensive commercial fluorescence plate readers. These results demonstrate that the PoCT platform developed could bring the performance of central laboratory assay techniques closer to the end-user level.