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In Journal of microbiological methods

Salmonella spp. are a foodborne pathogen frequently found in raw meat, egg products, and milk. Salmonella is responsible for numerous outbreaks, becoming a frequent major public-health concern. Many studies have recently reported handheld and rapid devices for microbial detection. This study explored a smartphone-based lateral-flow assay analyzer which employed machine-learning algorithms to detect various concentrations of Salmonella spp. from the test line images. When cell numbers are low, a faint test line is difficult to detect, leading to misleading results. Hence, this study focused on the development of a smartphone-based lateral-flow assay (SLFA) to distinguish ambiguous concentrations of test line with higher confidence. A smartphone cradle was designed with an angled slot to maximize the intensity, and the optimal direction of the optimal incident light was found. Furthermore, the combination of color spaces and the machine-learning algorithms were applied to the SLFA for classifications. It was found that the combination of L*a*b and RGB color space with SVM and KNN classifiers achieved the high accuracy (95.56%). A blind test was conducted to evaluate the performance of devices; the results by machine-learning techniques reported less error than visual inspection. The smartphone-based lateral-flow assay provided accurate interpretation with a detection limit of 5 × 104 CFU/mL commercially available lateral-flow assays.

Min Hyun Jung, Mina Hansel A, Deering Amanda J, Bae Euiwon


Lateral flow assay, Machine learning algorithms, Salmonella, Smartphone biosensor