Abstract

There is a strong interest in the use of biopolymers in the electronic and biomedical industries, mainly towards low-cost applications. The possibility of developing entirely new kinds of products based on cellulose is of current interest, in order to enhance and to add new functionalities to conventional paper-based products. We present our results towards the development of paper-based microfluidics for molecular diagnostic testing. Paper properties were evaluated and compared to nitrocellulose, the most commonly used material in lateral flow and other rapid tests. Focusing on the use of paper as a substrate for microfluidic applications, through an eco-friendly wax-printing technology, we present three main and distinct colorimetric approaches: (i) enzymatic reactions (glucose detection); (ii) immunoassays (antibodies anti-Leishmania detection); (iii) nucleic acid sequence identification (Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex detection). Colorimetric glucose quantification was achieved through enzymatic reactions performed within specific zones of the paper-based device. The colouration achieved increased with growing glucose concentration and was highly homogeneous, covering all the surface of the paper reaction zones in a 3D sensor format. These devices showed a major advantage when compared to the 2D lateral flow glucose sensors, where some carryover of the coloured products usually occurs. The detection of anti-Leishmania antibodies in canine sera was conceptually achieved using a paper-based 96-well enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay format. However, optimization is still needed for this test, regarding the efficiency of the immobilization of antigens on the cellulose fibres. The detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis nucleic acids integrated with a non-cross-linking gold nanoprobe detection scheme was also achieved in a wax-printed 384-well paper-based microplate, by the hybridization with a species-specific probe. The obtained results with the above-mentioned proof-of-concept sensors are thus promising towards the future development of simple and cost-effective paper-based diagnostic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094006
JournalNanotechnology
Volume25
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2014

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