A prism array based portable microplate reader

Unmet Need: Portable and low-cost point-of-care smart phone reader


Traditionally, microplate based assays rely on laboratory microplate reader for data reading and analysis. This greatly limited the application of microplate based assays to laboratories and well-trained professionals. For on-field applications that require rapid and immediate, low-cost, and accurate analysis, traditional method cannot meet these needs outside the laboratory. A portable and low-cost microplate reader is in demand for point-of-care (POC) and mobile health (mHealth), in-field applications, and low resource areas. 


Recently, several mobile phone based portable microplate readers have been developed. These microplate readers are costly to fabricate, difficult to scale up or ineffective in solving the field-of-view (FOV) un-matching problem between the cellphone camera and the microplate. This problem has made this design not portable and also can affect the resolution due the long distance between the cellphone camera and the microplate. 


The Technology: Low-cost smartphone system for measurement of analytes


To address these problems, WSU researchers have developed a low-cost prism array and lens array system. By using the array optics system, the object distance is greatly reduced and thus, giving rise to increase portability and resolution. This invention is a low-cost, portable, and user friendly microplate reader that can be used for microplate based optical assays. This invention is based on a prism array to tilt the light from a microplate, and thus allowing the optical signal translated by photographic devices including mobile phone cameras or consumer digital cameras. This invention also incorporates an optical spectrum design by which numerous applications, including but not limited to colorimetric analysis of the emission and absorption, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), fluorescent analysis, and optical spectrum analysis, could be performed.




•      Used as a tool read any samples based on spectrophotometry including but not limited to diagnosis of all types of diseases in the field of life science, agriculture, and veterinary medicine




•       Low cost and easily scalable


•       Technically more feasible due to reduced distance between object and array 


•       Enhanced resolution and portability allowing for POC applications


•       Ready to integrated with cloud or server based health care systems


Patent Information:


US Patent Number 16/086,364 Granted on 5/11/2021



Learn More

Rabindra Nanda
Technology Licensing Associate Senior
Washington State University
(509) 335-8608
Reference No: 1658


Lei Li
Li-Ju Wang
Rongrong Sun
Yu-Chung Chang

Key Words