Detection and control of infectious diseases is a major problem, especially in developing countries. Lateral flow immunoassays can be used with great success for the detection of infectious diseases. However, for the quantification of their results an electronic reader is required. This paper presents an optimized handheld electronic reader for developing countries. It features a potentially low-cost, low-power, battery-operated device with no added optical accessories. The operation of this proof of concept device is based on measuring the reflected light from the lateral flow immunoassay and translating it into the concentration of the specific analyte of interest. Characterization of the surface of the lateral flow immunoassay has been performed in order to accurately model its response to the incident light. Ray trace simulations have been performed to optimize the system and achieve maximum sensitivity by placing all the components in optimum positions. A microcontroller enables all the signal processing to be performed on the device and a Bluetooth module allows transmission of the results wirelessly to a mobile phone app. Its performance has been validated using lateral flow immunoassays with influenza A nucleoprotein in the concentration range of 0.5 ng/mL to 200 ng/mL.
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