Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the most serious infectious diseases in the world and the rate of new cases continues to increase. The development of cheap and simple methodologies capable of identifying TB causing agents belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex (MTBC), at point-of-need, in particular in resource-poor countries where the main TB epidemics are observed, is of paramount relevance for the timely and effective diagnosis and management of patients. TB molecular diagnostics, aimed at reducing the time of laboratory diagnostics from weeks to days, still require specialised technical personnel and labour intensive methods. Recent nanotechnology-based systems have been proposed to circumvent these limitations. Here, we report on a paper-based platform capable of integrating a previously developed Au-nanoprobe based MTBC detection assay-we call it "Gold on Paper". The Au-nanoprobe assay is processed and developed on a wax-printed microplate paper platform, allowing unequivocal identification of MTBC members and can be performed without specialised laboratory equipment. Upon integration of this Au-nanoprobe colorimetric assay onto the 384-microplate, differential colour scrutiny may be captured and analysed with a generic "smartphone" device. This strategy uses the mobile device to digitalise the intensity of the colour associated with each colorimetric assay, perform a Red Green Blue (RGB) analysis and transfer relevant information to an off-site lab, thus allowing for efficient diagnostics. Integration of the GPS location metadata of every test image may add a new dimension of information, allowing for real-time epidemiologic data on MTBC identification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4802-8
JournalLab On A Chip
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2012


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