Hand-Held Photometer for Instant On-Spot Quantification of Nucleic Acids, Proteins, and Cells
This paper presents a novel hand-held photometer, termed “Photopette”, for on-spot absorbance measurements of biochemical analytes. The Photopette is a multicomponent, highly portable device with an overall weight of 160 g, which fits within 202 mm × 47 mm × 42 mm. Designed in the form factor of a micropipette, Photopette integrates a photodiode detector with light emitting diodes (LEDs) to form a highly customizable photometer which supports a wide variety of applications within the wavelengths between 260 and 1050 nm. A dual-purpose disposable reflective tip was designed to act as a sample holder and a light-reflecting system, which is in stark contrast to the operation of mainstream spectrophotometers and photometers. Small volume analytes may be measured with low sample loss using this proprietary CuveTip. A user-friendly software application running on smart devices was developed to control and read the values from Photopette via a low-energy Bluetooth link. This one-step strategy allows measurements on-spot without sample transfer, minimizing cross-contamination and human error. The results reported in this paper demonstrate Photopette’s great potential to quantify DNA, direct protein, and cell density directly within the laminar flow hood. Results are compared with a Nanodrop 2000c spectrophotometer, a mainstream spectrophotometer for small-volume measurements.