Rapid Sensing of Biological and Environmental Analytes Using Microwave-Accelerated Bioassays and a MATLAB Application

Enock Bonyi, Edward Constance, Zeenat Kukoyi, Sanjeeda Jafar, Kadir Aslan


We report a method for rapid detection and analysis of biological and environmental analytes by microwave-accelerated bioassays (MABs) and a novel MATLAB-based image processing of colorimetric signals. In this regard, colorimetric bioassays for histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP-2) and microcystin-leucine arginine (MC-LR) toxin were carried out using MABs and without microwave heating (i.e, gold standard bioassays). Our MATLAB-based detection method is based on the direct correlation of color intensity of a solution calculated from images captured with a smartphone with the concentration of the biomolecule of interest using a MATLAB code developed in-house. We demonstrated that our MATLAB-based detection method can yield bioassay sensitivity comparable to the colorimetric gold standard tool, i.e., UV-Visible spectroscopy. In addition, colorimetric bioassay time for the HRP-2 assay (used in malaria diagnosis) and colorimetric MC-LR bioassay (used in MC-LR toxin diagnosis) was reduced from up to 2 hours at room temperature without microwave heating to 15 minutes using the MABs technique.

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Nano Biomedicine and Engineering.

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