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Sample concentration and purification for point-of-care diagnostics

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4 Author(s)
Ho, N.T. ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng., Boston Univ., Boston, MA, USA ; Fan, A. ; Klapperich, C.M. ; Cabodi, M.

The ability to increase the concentration of target analytes in a fixed sample volume can potentially lower the limit of detection for many biosensing techniques, and thus is key in sample preparation for infectious disease diagnosis. Concentration by evaporation is an effective method to achieve target enrichment. However, concentrating human samples, including blood and plasma, by evaporation-based methods is made challenging by high concentrations of proteins and electrolytes. Dehydration of the proteins causes the sample to turn into a gel, hindering further analysis. At the same time, decreasing the volume increases the overall concentration of electrolytes, causing bacterial or viral particle lysis, and making them more difficult to detect in affinity-based biosensors. Thus, we fabricated a microfluidic chip that incorporates both dialysis and concentration in a single design. The chip dialyzes the proteins from the plasma, while maintaining an appropriate concentration of electrolytes and concentrating the sample targets. The process to concentrate plasma or serum samples by a factor of 10 takes less than 30 minutes. As a proof-of-concept, we demonstrated the chip using a defective Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). To distinguish patients on antiretroviral therapy who are failing therapy from those who are not, a diagnostic must be able to detect HIV in plasma down to at least 1000 particles per milliliter. For a number of technical reasons, it is difficult to get on-chip PCR reactions to reach this level of sensitivity, so concentration of HIV from lower viral load samples has the potential to improve the sensitivity of many types of molecular point-of-care viral load tests.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2012 Annual International Conference of the IEEE

Date of Conference:

Aug. 28 2012-Sept. 1 2012