We demonstrate the first use of smartphone spectrophotometry for readout of fluorescence-based biological assays. We evaluated the smartphone fluorimeter in the context of a fluorescent molecular beacon (MB) assay for detection of a specific nucleic acid sequences in a liquid test sample. The capability of distinguishing a one-point mismatch is also demonstrated by detecting single-base mutation in target nucleic acids. Our approach offers a route towards portable biomolecular assays for viral/bacterial pathogens, disease biomarkers, and toxins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Biological Detection
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Nanosensors to Systems VII
EditorsBrian T. Cunningham, Benjamin L. Miller, Philippe M. Fauchet
ISBN (Electronic)9781628414004
StatePublished - 2015
EventFrontiers in Biological Detection: From Nanosensors to Systems VII - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 7 2015 → …

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherFrontiers in Biological Detection: From Nanosensors to Systems VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period2/7/15 → …


  • FRET
  • Fluorescence
  • Förster resonance energy transfer
  • Smartphone detection
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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