Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Exploiting NanoLuc luciferase for smartphone-based bioluminescence cell biosensor for (anti)-inflammatory activity and toxicity.

PMID 27853830


The availability of smartphones with high-performance digital image sensors and processing power has completely reshaped the landscape of point-of-need analysis. Thanks to the high maturity level of reporter gene technology and the availability of several bioluminescent proteins with improved features, we were able to develop a bioluminescence smartphone-based biosensing platform exploiting the highly sensitive NanoLuc luciferase as reporter. A 3D-printed smartphone-integrated cell biosensor based on genetically engineered Hek293T cells was developed. Quantitative assessment of (anti)-inflammatory activity and toxicity of liquid samples was performed with a simple and rapid add-and-measure procedure. White grape pomace extracts, known to contain several bioactive compounds, were analyzed, confirming the suitability of the smartphone biosensing platform for analysis of untreated complex biological matrices. Such approach could meet the needs of small medium enterprises lacking fully equipped laboratories for first-level safety tests and rapid screening of new bioactive products. Graphical abstract Smartphone-based bioluminescence cell biosensor.