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Volume 275, 2021, 130096

Recent progress in smartphone-based techniques for food safety and the detection of heavy metal ions in environmental water

Rajamanickam Sivakumara, Nae YoonLeeb

Department of Industrial Environmental Engineering, College of Industrial Environmental Engineering, Gachon University, 1342 Seongnam-daero, Sujeong-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, 13120, South Korea.


Emerging smartphone-based point-of-care tests (POCTs) are cost-effective, precise, and easy to implement in resource-limited areas. Thus, they are considered a potential alternative to conventional diagnostic testing. This review explores food safety and the detection of metal ions in environmental water based on unprecedented smartphone technology. Specifically, we provide an overview of various methods used for target analyte detection (antibiotics, enzymes, mycotoxins, pathogens, pesticides, small molecules, and metal ions), such as colorimetric, fluorescence, microscopic imaging, and electrochemical methods. This paper performs a comprehensive review of smartphone-based POCTs developed in the last three years (2018–2020) and evaluates their relative advantages and limitations. Moreover, we discuss the imperative role of new technology in the progress of POCTs. Sensor materials (metal nanoparticles, carbon dots, quantum dots, organic substrates, etc.) and detection techniques (paper-based, later flow assay, microfluidic platform, etc.) involved in POCTs based on smartphones, and the challenges faced by these techniques, are addressed.

Keywords: Smartphone, Food safety, Metal ion, Colorimetry, Fluorometry.

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