Photon-counting, Low-cost, Portable Contact Imager for Fluorescence Detection

Project: Research

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Fluorescence analysis is widely adopted for the identification and quantification of biological and chemical molecules, with applications in drinking water toxicity analysis, drug discovery, genetic analysis, infertility analysis, and stem cell research. In many cases, this technique is the most sensitive and selective but existing instrumentation is bulky and expensive.This project aims to develop photon-counting, portable, low-cost optical imager technologies for fluorescence measurements. We will model, design, fabricate, and characterize a fluorescence sensor prototype and demonstrate it in the DNA detection application. The proposed approach is novel as follows. First, the proposed prototype is towards the concept of contact imaging to significantly reduce optical components and cost. Second, it uses photon-counting detectors to improve sensitivity. Third, it employs a light-emitting diode instead of a laser to provide the excitation to improve parallelism and further reduces component cost.This project will enable miniaturization and cost reduction, enabling a new generation of highly-integrated, portable analysis devices. While the design aspect involves substantial expertise, the manufacturing demand is moderate and is suitable for the industry in Hong Kong. Highly-sensitive, low-cost, portable fluorescence sensing will represent a breakthrough in molecular detection technology and will open doors to many new medical, industrial, security, and environmental applications.


Project number9440120
Grant typeITF
Effective start/end date1/01/1530/06/16