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Ultra-sensitive Bio-MEMS devices can automatically perform multiple laboratory functions on chips and measure traces of molecules. This research work demonstrates that the novel lab-on-a-chip system can quantify hormones in a blood sample at subfemtomolar levels with high specificity and development potential to a high-throughput tool. The notable advantage of the Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) system is the complete compatibility with the microplate reader in a biological laboratory, which can be operated easily by end users. The prototype chip contains 48 reaction chambers and can be used to quantify the concentrations of up to 6 kinds of hormones in the sample at the same time. The LOC device was designed based on IMRAMP (Immuno-real-time-amplification) assay, which is similar to a sandwich antibody-mediated immuno-PCR assay. In this assay, the barcode DNA containing the T7 RNA polymerase promoter was designed to label the antibody and utilized as the template in the following Nucleic Acid Sequence-based Amplification (NASBA) assay. Based on the result of preliminary tests, this IMRAMP chip is intended as an ultra-sensitive biomedical tool to monitor hormones in serums, which can also be used to detect water-borne disease or aquatic environmental biomarkers.
Note: As originally published there was an error in this document. The authors' affiliation mistakenly reads: "Department of Micro and Nano Systems Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Marine Sciences, Vestfold University College, Tonsberg, Norway." It should instead have been: "Department of Micro and Nano Systems Technology, Faculty of Technology and Maritime Sciences, Vestfold University College, Tonsberg, Norway."