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A Digital–Analog Microfluidic Platform for Patient-Centric Multiplexed Biomarker Diagnostics of Ultralow Volume Samples

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journal contribution
posted on 26.01.2016, 00:00 by Francesco Piraino, Francesca Volpetti, Craig Watson, Sebastian J. Maerkl
Microfluidic diagnostic devices have the potential to transform the practice of medicine. We engineered a multiplexed digital–analog microfluidic platform for the rapid and highly sensitive detection of 3–4 biomarkers in quadruplicate in 16 independent and isolated microfluidic unit cells requiring only a single 5 μL sample. We comprehensively characterized the platform by performing single enzyme and digital immunoassays, achieving single molecule detection and measured as low as ∼10 fM (330 fg/mL) GFP in buffer and ∼12 fM GFP in human serum. We applied our integrated digital detection mechanism to multiplexed detection of 1pM anti-Ebola IgG in human serum and were able to differentiate three common Ebola strains. To ascertain that the device can be applied in environments beyond clinical point-of-care settings, we developed a low-cost, portable hardware system to control and read out the microfluidic device and detected anti-Ebola IgG in ultralow volume whole blood samples to levels of 100 pM in a multiplexed assay format.