After choosing to develop a fluorescent detection system, I spent several days researching and understanding the biology of the detection system as well as the technical approach that conventional qPCR machines are taking to construct their detection systems. After a week of designing the mechanical and electrical layout of my new low cost, low power fluorescent detection system, the following design was produced:
This design utilizes a light sensor with an optical filter flanked by two LED's with wavelengths set to that of the intended fluorescent dye that needs to be fluoresced. After designing the detection system, I spent some time integrating this detection system into my design and produced this low cost, low power qPCR machine:
By combining the fluorescent detection system with my PCR machine, I effectively created a qPCR machine. This qPCR machine will be utilized as a low cost, low power genotyping tool for genetic research, genetic testing, and disease detection.
How it works:
After the extension phase of PCR each cycle, the test tubes are scanned through this detection system for the presence of fluorescence. By analyzing the changing levels of fluorescence throughout the PCR amplification, I can effectivity determine both the amount of a targeted molecular material that is present along with the simple binary presence of a disease or piece of molecular material.