Integrated Quantum Dot Barcode Smartphone Optical Device for Diagnostics

The focus of this technology has been to develop an automated portable device that can extract, amplify, detect, & database the results.  This was made possible by the use of innovative engineering approach to assemble each function into a disposable cartridge system. This 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 & databased on a software App.


Diagnostic technologies are critical to the management of patients. While there are many diagnostic technologies in the market, many technologies are limited for use in a clinic. The ability to develop a cost-effective portable device that can detect multiple disease markers with high sensitivity & specificity & can be used by non-experts, at home, or in the doctor’s office is not available. The addition of wireless system & smartphone allows the databasing & analysis of the diagnosis – this will be important for managing administration of drug administration.

Semiconductor nanocrystals, or quantum dots (QDs), have received great interest from the biological and medical communities due to their unique optical and electronic properties of QDs and their advantageous properties over organic-based fluorophores for many biological applications. QDs have high luminescence (1 QD = 10 to 20 fluorophores), high resistance to photobleaching, narrow spectral line widths, and size and materials-tunable emission that can be excited using one single wavelength.


  • A simple & low-cost chip-based wireless multiplex diagnostic device
  • Ability to detect multiple infectious pathogens simultaneously, in a single test run
  • Over 95% clinical sensitivity & specificity for the barcodes from a preliminary clinical test of patient samples
  • Automation of multiple diagnostic steps
  • Test results within 1 hour
  • User-friendly and easy to use. Does not require high level of expertise with diagnostics to run the test
  • Point-of-Care diagnostics for various infectious diseases


  • 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 patient samples.The combined unit, consisting of the quantum dot detection system & prototype device, testing currently underway.