Microchimica Acta

, Volume 181, Issue 15–16, pp 1815–1821 | Cite as

Smartphone based bacterial detection using biofunctionalized fluorescent nanoparticles

  • Vinoth Kumar Rajendran
  • Padmavathy Bakthavathsalam
  • Baquir Mohammed Jaffar AliEmail author
Original Paper


We are describing immunochromatographic test strips with smart phone-based fluorescence readout. They are intended for use in the detection of the foodborne bacterial pathogens Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157. Silica nanoparticles (SiNPs) were doped with FITC and Ru(bpy), conjugated to the respective antibodies, and then used in a conventional lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA). Fluorescence was recorded by inserting the nitrocellulose strip into a smart phone-based fluorimeter consisting of a light weight (40 g) optical module containing an LED light source, a fluorescence filter set and a lens attached to the integrated camera of the cell phone in order to acquire high-resolution fluorescence images. The images were analysed by exploiting the quick image processing application of the cell phone and enable the detection of pathogens within few minutes. This LFIA is capable of detecting pathogens in concentrations as low as 105 cfu mL−1 directly from test samples without pre-enrichment. The detection is one order of magnitude better compared to gold nanoparticle-based LFIAs under similar condition. The successful combination of fluorescent nanoparticle-based pathogen detection by LFIAs with a smart phone-based detection platform has resulted in a portable device with improved diagnosis features and having potential application in diagnostics and environmental monitoring.


The successful combination of fluorescent nanoparticle-based pathogen detection by lateral flow immunoassay with a smart phone-based detection platform has resulted in a portable device that enables rapid and reliable bacterial detection holding large potential in diagnostics and environmental monitoring


Biosensor Nanoparticles Bacterial diagnosis Immunofluorescence Point - of - care 



We acknowledge Central Instrumentation Facility, Pondicherry University for SEM imaging and FT-IR characterization. We thank Dr.T.Vaidehi, Sundaram Medical Foundation Hospital, Chennai for providing clinical isolates of Salmonella spp. and Dr. Gagandeep Kang, Christian Medical College, Vellore for providing Escherichia coli O157. BP thanks Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for the award of Senior Research Fellowship.

Supplementary material

604_2014_1242_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (621 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 621 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vinoth Kumar Rajendran
    • 1
  • Padmavathy Bakthavathsalam
    • 1
    • 3
  • Baquir Mohammed Jaffar Ali
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.AU-KBC Research CentreM.I.T. Campus of Anna UniversityChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Green Energy TechnologyPondicherry UniversityPuducherryIndia
  3. 3.Welcome Trust – DBT India Alliance Early Career FellowInstitute of Microbial TechnologyChandigarhIndia

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