Integrated Smartphone-App-Chip System for On-Site Ppb-Level Colorimetric Quantitation of Aflatoxins

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Li, X.; Yang, F.; Wong, J. X. H.; Yu, H.-Z. Integrated smartphone-app-chip system for on-site ppb-level colorimetric quantitation of aflatoxins Analytical Chemistry, 2017, 89 (17), pp 8908–8916.

Date created: 
Mobile app
On-site chemical analysis
Colorimetric quantitation

We demonstrate herein an integrated, smartphone-app-chip (SPAC) system for on-site quantitation of food toxins, as demonstrated with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), at parts-per-billion (ppb) level in food products. The detection is based on an indirect competitive immunoassay fabricated on a transparent plastic chip with the assistance of a microfluidic channel plate. A 3D-printed optical accessory attached to a smartphone is adapted to align the assay chip and to provide uniform illumination for imaging, with which high-quality images of the assay chip are captured by the smartphone camera and directly processed using a custom-developed Android app. The performance of this smartphone-based detection system was tested using both spiked and moldy corn samples; consistent results with conventional ELISA kits were obtained. The achieved detection limit (3±1 μg/kg, equivalent to ppb) and dynamic response range (0.5−250 μg/kg) meet the requested testing standards set by authorities worldwide. We envision that the integrated SPAC system promises to be a simple and accurate method of food toxin quantitation, bringing much benefit for rapid on-site screening.


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Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Natural Science Foundation of China