We propose a disruptive point-of-care (PoC) imaging platform based on lens-free interference phase-contrast imaging for rapid detection of biomarker such as for sepsis and potentially other diseases (e.g. cancer). It enables simultaneous analysis of potentially up to 10,000 functionalized microarray spots with different biomarkers with fast time-to-results (few minutes) and by consuming a small sample volume (~10 μL). The high sensitivity allows direct measurements of the biomarker binding without the use of fluorescent labels (e.g. ELISA) or microbial culture methods. In addition, adhoc plasmonic nano-structuring is utilized to significantly improve the sensitivity for biomarker detection (optical path difference ~Å) to concentration levels relevant for disease diagnosis.
The proposed technology incorporates a portable and low-cost lens-free imaging reader made of consumer electronic components, plasmonic microarrays with distinct functionalization, and user-friendly software based on a novel phaseshifting interferometry method for topography and refractive index analysis. Due to its compactness and cost-efficiency, we foresee a great potential for PoC applications, especially for the rapid detection of infectious diseases or lifethreatening conditions, e.g. sepsis, but also for clinical trials of drugs and food control.