The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is seeking to develop multiplexed diagnostics utilizing a high-throughput, field-portable smartphone attachment. The agency issued an official Request for Information (RFI) last week inviting companies with capabilities in this realm to respond.
The goal of the project is to move away from microscopic snapshots of small sample areas and volumes and instead to transport ultra-wide field fluorescent imaging and cytometry concepts onto smartphones to enable rapid digital analysis of larger sample volumes (> 0.1 mL). The same smartphone-enabled platform could also be converted into an imaging florescent flow-cytometer using integrated microfluidics, to further increase available screening volume.
Such a high-throughput fluorescent imaging and cytometry device running on a smartphone would project capabilities in resource-limited settings for conducting analysis of human fluids for diagnostics, or for screening of water-borne parasites in drinking water. The team will achieve this by adapting an inexpensive wide-field fluorescent microscope and an imaging flow-cytometer developed to run on a commercial platform (i.e., Android, iPhone), such that it can interrogate, detect, and interpret multiplexed assays to allow a clear and automated Yes/No interpretation by the smartphone.
The RFI is available under DTRA-12-CBA-0001 with a response deadline of March 12, 2012.