To show the speed and usage simplicity of CascAID, we recorded the setup of our detection reaction on paper using Lightbringer to detect the fluorescence produced by the RNaseAlert system. In less than half an hour you can see the increase in fluorescence and determine if pathogens were present in the sample.


With our modular approach, we prototype all units of our diagnostic device, and integrate them into a customizable platform. We use cell-free synthetic biology to distinguish between pathogens with our universal detection cascade.

Sensitive and Rapid

Robust and Universal

Portable and low-cost

Sample processing

We chose to combine heat lysis and isothermal amplification (RPA) to extract our target RNA from patient samples.

We validated the three necessary modules of the sample processing (cell lysis, DNA amplification and transcription) with a rapid and sensitive method, RPA.

Readout circuit

We chose Cas13a for pathogen identification because of its specificity for nucleic acid sequence detection.

We proved the robustness and universality of our Cas13a-based fluorescence readout circuit.


We chose a disposable paper strip combined with a reusable fluorescence detector to analyse our samples.

We created a detection chip that is portable, functional and affordable, for the distribution of our diagnosis device, CascAID.