We report the development of a handheld fluorometer for UV excitable fluorescence assays. The handheld detector serves as a demonstration platform for an integrated fluorescence sensor and comprises a CMOS detector coated with a polymer based optical filter and placed in close proximity to a UV LED which is used as an excitation source. The sensor function has been validated for metabolic activity and cytotoxicity assays. The fluorometer was able to determine NADH concentration as low as 17 μM and was able to track NADH production in live yeast cells over time and as the yeast cell concentration varied. The sensor was also used to discriminate the viability of human intestinal adenocarcinoma cells (Caco-2 cell line) using a live/dead stain after exposure to toxic and benign nanoparticles. The integrated fluorescence sensor is suitable for microscale fluorescence detection in lab-on-a-chip applications.