Rapid and Reagentless Detection of Microbial Contamination Within Meat Utilizing Smartphone-Based Biosensor

Technology #ua14-066

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Jeong-Yeol Yoon
Professor, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering
Pei-Shih Liang
Student Group C, Agric & Biosystems Engr
Managed By
Tod Mccauley


This technology detects and quantifies microbial contamination, without the use of any microbeads, antibodies, or laboratory instrumentation. This technology requires only a smartphone, the appropriate software, and an NIR LED.


Development of rapid, non-destructive, and inexpensive sensing technologies for detection of microbial contamination of food products remain in high demand to this day. Methods which can provide real time testing of food products without destroying or contaminating the food itself have the potential to save the industry millions of dollars and prevent future health outbreaks. Electronic noses, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and raman scattering are all currently being investigated/used towards this goal, however these methods still need trained personnel and can be expensive due to the need for specialized instrumentation. Microbead and lab-on-a-chip techniques provide much lower detection limits and improved specificity, but still require adding reagents to the food sample or introducing an expensive lab-on-a-chip. Thus, there exists a need for a rapid detection method which does not use a reagent and which can be utilized with generalized equipment.


  • This product is a handheld device which is cord free, inexpensive, non-destructive, and reagentless.
  • Can be used as a preliminary screening tool to monitor microbial contamination.
  • Commercial and private sector to allow the low cost rapid detection of pathogens and microbial contamination in meat
  • For use in a factory setting for rapid sorting and detection, as well as in the home for use by the average person.


  • Reagentless, non-destructive and hands free analysis.
  • Can be used by untrained personnel with a common smartphone and little additional materials.
  • Does not require optical fibers or any spectrometer.


Dr. Jeong-Yeol Yoon


Tod McCauley


O: 520-6267916

Technology #: Refer to UA ID: UA14-066