Integrated Quantum Dot Barcode Smartphone Optical Device for Diagnosis of COVID-19

The focus of this technology has been to develop a versatile diagnostic system by using quantum dot barcoding technology in combination with the engineering of a detecting and processing device. This device is proposed to extract, amplify, detect, and database the results, which has been made achievable by the use of innovative engineering approach to assemble each function into a disposable cartridge system. The cartridge system also contains tablets of reagents with known concentrations, so that the device can be portable without the need for refrigeration or unique storage. The detection is then identified by a smartphone camera and databased on an software App.


There are limited diagnostic technologies for detecting COVID-19 at home, doctor’s office, and community hospital. The development an automated, simple, and portable diagnostic test with the sensitivity and selectivity would suitably address this issue, as well as allow penetration of the global market. Our researchers propose the development of a portable device that can detect COVID-19 (genetic test), as well as allow global surveillance of COVID-19 cases (serological test).


  • A simple and low-cost chip-based wireless multiplex diagnostic device
  • Ability to detect multiple COVID-19 targets simultaneously, in a single test run
  • Test results within 1 hour
  • Over 95% clinical sensitivity and specificity for the barcodes from a preliminary clinical test of patient samples of COVID-19 
  • Automation of multiple diagnostic steps
  • User-friendly and easy to use. Does not require expertise with diagnostics to run the test
  • Detection of antibodies from patients infected with COVID-19


  • IP Status: Issued patent in the U.S.
    • Stable, water-soluble quantum dot, method for preparation & conjugates thereof (Patent No. US 7,151,047 B2)
  • Development Status: Second prototype of the device is being built for clinical testing. The quantum dot assay has been successfully tested for detecting COVID-19 patient samples. The combined unit, consisting of the quantum dot detection system and prototype device, testing currently underway.