Integrated quantum dot barcode smartphone optical device for wireless multiplexed diagnosis of infected patients

Kevin Ming, Jisung Kim, Mia J Biondi, Abdullah Syed, Kun Chen, Albert Lam, Mario Ostrowski, Anu Rebbapragada, Jordan J Feld, Warren CW Chan

ACS Nano 2015, 9, 3, 3060–3074 | DOI: 10.1021/nn5072792


Inorganic nanoparticles are ideal precursors for engineering barcodes for rapidly detecting diseases. Despite advances in the chemical design of these barcodes, they have not advanced to clinical use because they lack sensitivity and are not cost-effective due to requirement of a large read-out system. Here we combined recent advances in quantum dot barcode technology with smartphones and isothermal amplification to engineer a simple and low-cost chip-based wireless multiplex diagnostic device. We characterized the analytical performance of this device and demonstrated that the device is capable of detecting down to 1000 viral genetic copies per milliliter, and this enabled the diagnosis of patients infected with HIV or hepatitis B. More importantly, the barcoding enabled us to detect multiple infectious pathogens simultaneously, in a single test, in less than 1 h. This multiplexing capability of the device enables the diagnosis of infections that are difficult to differentiate clinically due to common symptoms such as a fever or rash. The integration of quantum dot barcoding technology with a smartphone reader provides a capacity for global surveillance of infectious diseases and the potential to accelerate knowledge exchange transfer of emerging or exigent disease threats with healthcare and military organizations in real time.