The development of sensitive optical microscopy methods for the detection of single DNA molecules has become an active research area which cultivates various promising applications including point-of-care (POC) genetic testing and diagnostics. Direct visualization of individual DNA molecules usually relies on sophisticated optical microscopes that are mostly available in well-equipped laboratories. For POC DNA testing/detection, there is an increasing need for the development of new single DNA imaging and sensing methods that are field-portable, cost-effective, and accessible for diagnostic applications in resource-limited or field-settings. For this aim, we developed a mobile-phone integrated fluorescence microscopy platform that allows imaging and sizing of single DNA molecules that are stretched on a chip. This handheld device contains an opto-mechanical attachment integrated onto a smartphone camera module, which creates a high signal-to-noise ratio dark-field imaging condition by using an oblique illumination/excitation configuration. Using this device, we demonstrated imaging of individual linearly stretched λ DNA molecules (48 kilobase-pair, kbp) over 2 mm2 field-of-view. We further developed a robust computational algorithm and a smartphone app that allowed the users to quickly quantify the length of each DNA fragment imaged using this mobile interface. The cellphone based device was tested by five different DNA samples (5, 10, 20, 40, and 48 kbp), and a sizing accuracy of <1 kbp was demonstrated for DNA strands longer than 10 kbp. This mobile DNA imaging and sizing platform can be very useful for various diagnostic applications including the detection of disease-specific genes and quantification of copy-number-variations at POC settings.
Qingshan Wei, Wei Luo, Samuel Chiang, Tara Kappel, Crystal Mejia, Derek Tseng, Raymond Yan Lok Chan, Eddie Yan, Hangfei Qi, Faizan Shabbir, Haydar Ozkan, Steve Feng, and Aydogan Ozcan, "Single DNA imaging and length quantification through a mobile phone microscope," Proc. SPIE 9699, Optics and Biophotonics in Low-Resource Settings II, 969903 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 7 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2208836.
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