An emulsion loop-mediated isothermal amplification (eLAMP) platform was developed to reduce the impact that contamination has on assay performance. Ongoing LAMP reactions within the emulsion droplets cause a decrease in interfacial tension, causing a decrease in droplet size, which results in decreased light scatter intensity due to Mie theory. Light scatter intensity was monitored via spectrophotometers and fiber optic cables placed at 30° and 60°. Light scatter intensities collected at 3 min, 30° were able to statistically differentiate 103 and 106 CFU/µL initial Escherichia coli O157:H7 concentrations compared to NTC (0 CFU/µL), while the intensity at 60° were able to statistically differentiate 106 CFU/µL initial concentrations and NTC. Control experiments were conducted to validate nucleic acid detection versus bacterial adsorption, finding that the light scatter intensities change is due specifically to ongoing LAMP amplification. After inducing contamination of bulk LAMP reagents, specificity lowered to 0% with conventional LAMP, while the eLAMP platform showed 87.5% specificity. We have demonstrated the use of angle-dependent light scatter intensity as a means of real-time monitoring of an emulsion LAMP platform and fabricated a smartphone-based monitoring system that showed similar trends as spectrophotometer light scatter data, validating the technology for a field deployable platform.
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