We have developed a simple and accurate biosensor based on a chemiluminescent (CL)-lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) method integrated in a smartphone to quantitatively detect salivary cortisol. The biosensor is based on a direct competitive immunoassay using peroxidase-cortisol conjugate, detected by adding the chemiluminescent substrate luminol/enhancer/hydrogen peroxide. The smartphone camera is used as light detector, for image acquisition and data handling via a specific application. We 3D-printed simple accessories to adapt the smartphone. The system comprises a cartridge, which houses the LFIA strip, and a smartphone adaptor with a plano-convex lens and a cartridge-insertion slot. This provides a mini-darkbox and aligned optical interface between the camera and the LFIA membrane for acquiring CL signals. The method is simple and fast, with a detection limit of 0.3 ng/mL. It provides quantitative analysis in the range of 0.3-60 ng/mL, which is adequate for detecting salivary cortisol in the clinically accepted range. It could thus find application in the growing area of home-self-diagnostic device technology for clinical biomarker monitoring, overcoming the current difficulties in achieving sensitive and quantitative information with conventional systems taking the advantage of smartphone connectivity and the enhanced performance of the included camera.
Keywords: Biosensor; Chemiluminescence; Cortisol; Lateral flow immunoassay; Point-of-care; Smartphone.
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