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Microfiber Electrofluidics for Integrated Molecular Diagnostics

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - iMDx (Microfiber Electrofluidics for Integrated Molecular Diagnostics)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2022-02-01 do 2022-07-31

Diagnosis of an increasing number of diseases (such as HIV, Ebola and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and most recently the Covid-19 coronavirus) rely on centralized laboratories with specialized instruments and skilled personnel. This type of clinical analysis with long lead times and high cost is inappropriate for point of care diagnostics Portable, automated, and disposable devices with integrated molecular diagnostics could solve this problem. Such devices, however, basically do not exist today.
This research program developed materials, methods, and techniques to enable portable integrated molecular diagnostics devices that are disposable, low cost, and that can detect a range of diseases using DNA amplification.

The importance of this project for society has never been more obvious, as we experienced the biggest pandemic of the century. If nucleic acid tests had already been democratized it would have had a major effect on the control and spread of COVID-19.

This project had three overall objectives:

1. To develop new types of test platform which rely on paper and textiles, so that all the steps of nucleic acid tests can be integrated using high throughout printing techniques
2. To develop various techniques for sample preparation, DNA amplification and DNA detection which can be integrated into the test platform.
3. To develop cheap, portable open-source electronic devices that are capable of automating and controlling the integrated nucleic acid tests
In this project we have made the following advances:

1. Repurposed various textile as well as printed circuit boards so that they can be used as a platform in the realm of biosensing and specifically DNA detection. The utilization of PCB, and textiles together with paper enables numerous possibilities for the future development of point of care diagnostics devices.
2. Developed novel electrochemical readout techniques for performing DNA amplification and detecting it digitally. We have shown this applied this to isothermal amplification techniques for bacteria (both gram-positive and negative).
3. Developed home-based sample preparation techniques that can be used directly on samples to lyse bacterial cells or viruses and prepare the sample for DNA detection.
4. Developed prototypes for integrating PCR thermal cycles and electroanalytical devices that are open source, and low cost.
We have provided a set of comprehensive tools and techniques for the implementation of portable nucleic acid tests.
We think that these tools can be combined to enable home-based DNA tests thus considerably advancing the current paper-based tests that can detect certain proteins
Most importantly we disseminate our findings in such a way as to enable a more rapid development of this field by others in the future.
A paper-based DNA testing for possible use as a self-administered DNA test, such as COVID-19 testing