Portable Electrochemical Impedance System for Universal Molecular Diagnostics


Current methods of producing molecular diagnostic tools have many drawbacks, such as: the high-cost of fabrication, poor biodegradability, limited customizability, or issues with controlled fluid flow. Such problems have limited the ability to create portable detection devices for use in point-of-care settings that use environmentally-safe disposable parts. The present invention uses paper-based microfluidics and handheld potentiostats to detect biomolecules and other target analytes. This device has the capability to revolutionize testing at the point of care for healthcare applications, or could serve numerous purposes for on-demand analysis of biomolecules in the environment, such as trace pesticides or pathogen detection.


Technical Summary:

The ability to design inexpensive and disposable diagnostics and analytical platforms that are also biodegradable is of great value to healthcare as well as the environment. To this end, a portable molecular diagnostics system is presented that utilizes impedance spectroscopy to analyze a vast variety of samples.

The paper-based microfluidics used herein achieves size-based confinement of biomolecules by leveraging the nanoscale texture of paper and ultra-low sample volumes, which enhances sensitivity of detection and allows for controlled fluid flow. The methods used to develop circuits on the paper allow for a diverse portfolio of samples to be tested in a single-step format.

The handheld potentiometer used to perform the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy makes it easy to perform analysis at the point of care. In addition to performing impedance spectroscopy, it can also be used as a source meter and a voltammetry tool. The potentiometer operates with low noise threshold at the desired range of operation for biosensing while remaining cost-effective.


Value Proposition:

The proposed diagnostic tool, comprising a handheld potentiostat and paper microfluidic circuits, is optimized for biosensing applications while remaining portable and inexpensive. The customizable design facilitates testing of a diverse range of samples while eliminating many of the problems with current detection devices on the market.



  • Molecular diagnostics – Detect relative concentrations of antibodies, proteins, DNA, RNA, SNP, small molecules, pathogens, heavy metal ions, and physiological ions
  • Pesticide detection – Detect trace pesticides at ultra-low concentrations.


Key Benefits:

  • Sensitive – Potentiostat performs with low noise threshold in the operational range; Biosensor utilizes size-based confinement of molecules for enhanced sensitivity
  • Portable – Point of care diagnostics platform for clinical, research, home, and field use
  • Adaptable – All components are highly customizable for a wide range of applications
  • Biodegradable sensor – Reduces environmental toll for disposing of testing materials
  • Inexpensive – Cost-effective components and manufacturing processes


IP Status: Patent pending - Link

Licensing Opportunity: This technology is available for exclusive or non-exclusive licensing. 

ID Number: MP-13056 

Contact: otc@utdallas.edu

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
OTC Licensing
Shalini Prasad
Anjan Panneer Selvam
Engineering & Physical Sciences
Life Sciences
Medical Devices
Molecular Biology
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