Digital microfluidics (DMF) arises as the next step in the fast-evolving field of operation platforms for molecular diagnostics. Moreover, isothermal schemes, such as loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), allow for further simplification of amplification protocols. Integrating DMF with LAMP will be at the core of a new generation of detection devices for effective molecular diagnostics at point-of-care (POC), providing simple, fast, and automated nucleic acid amplification with exceptional integration capabilities. Here, we demonstrate for the first time the role of coupling DMF and LAMP, in a dedicated device that allows straightforward mixing of LAMP reagents and target DNA, as well as optimum temperature control (reaction droplets undergo a temperature variation of just 0.3°C, for 65°C at the bottom plate). This device is produced using low-temperature and low-cost production processes, adaptable to disposable and flexible substrates. DMF-LAMP is performed with enhanced sensitivity without compromising reaction efficacy or losing reliability and efficiency, by LAMP-amplifying 0.5 ng/µL of target DNA in just 45 min. Moreover, on-chip LAMP was performed in 1.5 µL, a considerably lower volume than standard bench-top reactions.
- Digital microfluidics
- Loop-mediated isothermal amplification
- Point-of-care diagnostics