i-sense researchers are developing a low-cost mobile phone spectrometer, which enhances the ability of phone cameras to accurately read results on point-of-care tests for influenza.
In particular, the mobile phone spectrometer will be able to recognise the viral target protein, tetrameric neuraminidase, that the antiviral drug, Tamiflu, binds to in order to relieve symptoms.
A spectrometer is helpful in reading lateral flow tests because it is able to use light to detect the presence of the virus. The level of light varies depending on whether there is a presence or absence of the virus.
By using 3D printing to produce the spectrometer, manufacturing the device can cost as little as ￡5 per unit. This approach also means that the device can be readily adapted to a wide range of mobile phones and easily modified as technology advances.