Researchers at Nature Communications have released a study on targeted DNA sequencing and in situ mutation analysis. Twelve members of the scientific journal collaborated and have created a prototype microscope based on Nokia's Windows Phone that helped them in their research.
The Lumia 1020 failed to receive an official upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile, however, it has attracted attention thanks to its mammoth 41-megapixel camera. Researchers have combined an external lens module containing two laser diodes and a white LED with Nokia's Windows Phone, creating a prototype mobile-phone-based multimodal microscope.
The prototype microscope uses the Lumia 1020 camera to detect the fluorescent products of DNA sequencing reactions in cells and tissues, allowing doctors to perform targeted molecular analysis on things like tumors using a pocketable device instead of a benchtop microscope.
Researchers concluded that “… mobile-phone-enabled molecular diagnostic analysis may provide a simple, cost-effective and yet powerful means to integrate molecular marker information with traditional morphology analysis and might further help digital molecular pathology become widely accessible at POC offices and even in resource-limited settings.”
A cost-effective alternative
The UCLA team, based in Sweden, has identified that molecular diagnostics laboratories were not usually available to patients requiring such services.
The researchers' scientific breakthrough, however, has come to demonstrate that mobile-based imaging solutions in laboratories could be a practical alternative in the absence of specialized equipment.
“With their rapidly expanding imaging and sensing capabilities, computational power, and connectivity, mobile phones help translate biomedical measurements from lab environments to … field settings,”, the researchers write.
The impact of this new approach goes beyond molecular pathology, as they say. According to the scientists, this prototype microscope could also help in “infectious disease diagnostics, where pathogen identity and load, as well as antibiotic resistance markers, can potentially be measured using the same mobile platform.”