Screening device with graphene quantum dots and smartphone readout

  • Jordi from Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia
  • From Spain
  • Responsive
  • Patents for licensing

Summary of the technology

Catalan research centre develops a low-cost device that turns a smartphone camera into a portable lab.
Use the biosensor and camera combo to quantify the presence of analytes in a sample with or without the need for specific receptors. The proof of concept uses paper embedded with graphene quantum dots, but other formats are feasible.
Currently seeking partners for technical cooperation and/or license agreement.

Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia

Details of the Technology Offer

The proposed technology is a detection device that uses a smartphone camera to quantify analytes in a given sample. The proof of concept can detect the presence of phenols and polyphenols in water, food and wine samples using paper strips embedded with graphene quantum dots as the sensor.
It paves the way for fast and simple screening of organic compounds in the field, and the detection of various compounds in combination with specific receptors.……
The use of eco-friendly graphene quantum dots avoids the use of heavy metal-based ones
The technology doesn’t need sophisticated instrumentation, making this versatile technology ideal for remote settings.
How it works: the device uses an ultraviolet LED to excite the graphene quantum dots embedded in the paper-based sensor after exposure to the sample. The smartphone camera is used to take a picture of the excited dots, upon which software analyses their luminescence and gives a reading. If the intensity of the light emitted by the quantum dots is softened, this is indicative of the presence of analytes and can be measured to establish the precise concentration

Current development status

Laboratory prototypes


analytes detection

Desired business relationship

Patent licensing

Technology development

New technology applications

Adaptation of technology to other markets

Intellectual property status

  • Patent already applied for
  • Patent application number :pending

  • pending

Attached documents

Related Keywords

  • Industrial Technologies
  • Biological Sciences
  • Agrofood Industry
  • Food quality and safety
  • Detection and Analysis methods
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to agrofood

About Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia

ICN2 is a highly specialized and renowned research centre. Its research lines focus on the newly discovered physical and chemical properties that arise from the fascinating behaviour of matter at the nanoscale. The patrons of ICN2 are the Government of Catalonia, the CSIC and the autonomous University of Barcelona.

The Institute promotes collaboration among scientists from diverse backgrounds (Physics, chemistry, biology, engineering...), to develop basic and applied research, always seeking for interactions with local and global industry. ICN2 also train researchers in nanotechnology, develops an intense activity to facilitate the uptake of nanotechnology in industry and promotes networking among scientists, engineers, technicians, business people, society and policy makers.

The recent discoveries in nanoscience might suppose a change of paradigm in areas as relevant as medicine, energy or microelectronics. The excellence of research developed at ICN2 has an enormous potential to change our everyday life. For this reason the institute is deeply involved in strategic international initiatives such as Graphene Flagship, being one of its nine original promoters.

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