Rapid identification of pathogens responsible for necrotizing fasciitis on an integrated microfluidic system.
ABSTRACT: Necrotic fasciitis (NF) is a particularly aggressive and serious infection of the fascia that can penetrate into the musculature and internal organs, resulting in death if not treated promptly. In this work, an integrated microfluidic system composed of micropumps, microvalves, and micromixers was used to automate the detection of pathogens associated with NF. The entire molecular diagnostic process, including bacteria isolation, lysis, nucleic acid amplification and optical detection steps, was enacted on this developed system. Mannose binding lectin coated magnetic beads were first used as probes to isolate all bacteria in a sample. In this work, polymerase chain reaction assays featuring primers specific to genes from each of four NF-causing bacteria (Vibrio vulnificus, Aeromonas hydrophila, and methicillin-sensitive and resistant Staphylococcus aureus) were used to rapidly and exclusively verify the presence of the respective bacterial strains, and the limits of detection were experimentally found to be 11, 1960, 14, and 11 400 colony forming units/reaction, respectively; all values reflect improvement over ones reported in literature. This integrated microfluidic chip may then be valuable in expediting diagnosis and optimizing treatment options for those with NF; such diagnostic improvements could ideally diminish the need for amputation and even reduce the morality rate associated with this life-threatening illness.
Project description:Point-of-care diagnostics based on multiplexed protein measurements face challenges of simple, automated, low-cost, and high-throughput operation with high sensitivity. Herein, we describe an automated, microprocessor-controlled microfluidic immunoarray for simultaneous multiplexed detection of small protein panels in complex samples. A microfluidic sample/reagent delivery cassette was coupled to a 30-microwell detection array to achieve sensitive detection of four prostate cancer biomarker proteins in serum. The proteins are prostate specific antigen (PSA), prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA), platelet factor-4 (PF-4), and interlukin-6 (IL-6). The six channel system is driven by integrated micropumps controlled by an inexpensive programmable microprocessor. The reagent delivery cassette and detection array feature channels made by precision-cut 0.8 mm silicone gaskets. Single-wall carbon nanotube forests were grown in printed microwells on a pyrolytic graphite detection chip and decorated with capture antibodies. The detection chip is housed in a machined microfluidic chamber with a steel metal shim counter electrode and Ag/AgCl reference electrode for electrochemiluminescent (ECL) measurements. The preloaded sample/reagent cassette automatically delivers samples, wash buffers, and ECL RuBPY-silica-antibody detection nanoparticles sequentially. An onboard microcontroller controls micropumps and reagent flow to the detection chamber according to a preset program. Detection employs tripropylamine, a sacrificial reductant, while applying 0.95 V vs Ag/AgCl. Resulting ECL light was measured by a CCD camera. Ultralow detection limits of 10-100 fg mL(-1) were achieved in simultaneous detection of the four protein in 36 min assays. Results for the four proteins in prostate cancer patient serum gave excellent correlation with those from single-protein ELISA.
Project description:This study reports an integrated microfluidic system which utilizes virus-bound magnetic bead complexes for rapid serological analysis of antibodies associated with an infection by the dengue virus. This new microfluidic system integrates one-way micropumps, a four-membrane-type micromixer, two-way micropumps and an on-chip microcoil array in order to simultaneously perform the rapid detection of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM). An IgM/IgG titer in serum is used to confirm the presence of dengue virus infection. By utilizing microfluidic technologies and virus-bound magnetic beads, IgG and IgM in the serum samples are captured. This is followed by purification and isolation of these beads utilizing a magnetic field generated from the on-chip array of microcoils. Any interfering substances in the biological fluids are washed away automatically by the flow generated by the integrated pneumatic pumps. The fluorescence-labelled secondary antibodies are bound to the surface of the IgG/IgM complex attached onto the magnetic beads. Finally, the entire magnetic complex sandwich is transported automatically into a sample detection chamber. The optical signals are then measured and analyzed by a real-time optical detection module. The entire process is performed automatically on a single chip within 30min, which is only 1/8th of the time required for a traditional method. More importantly, the detection limit has been improved to 21pg, which is about 38 times better when compared to traditional methods. This integrated system may provide a powerful platform for the rapid diagnosis of dengue virus infection and other types of infectious diseases.
Project description:Ferrofluid-based micromixers have been widely used for a myriad of microfluidic industrial applications in biochemical engineering, food processing, and detection/analytical processes. However, complete mixing in micromixers is extremely time-consuming and requires very long microchannels due to laminar flow. In this paper, we developed an effective and low-cost microfluidic device integrated with microscale magnets manufactured with neodymium (NdFeB) powders and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to achieve rapid micromixing between ferrofluid and buffer flow. Experiments were conducted systematically to investigate the effect of flow rate, concentration of the ferrofluid, and micromagnet NdFeB:PDMS mass ratio on the mixing performance. It was found that mixing is more efficient with lower total flow rates and higher ferrofluid concentration, which generate greater magnetic forces acting on both streamwise and lateral directions to increase the intermixing of the fluids within a longer residence time. Numerical models were also developed to simulate the mixing process in the microchannel under the same conditions and the simulation results indicated excellent agreements with the experimental data on mixing performance. Combining experimental measurements and numerical simulations, this study demonstrates a simple yet effective method to realize rapid mixing for lab-on-chip systems.
Project description:Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membranes are used in various applications, such as microvalves, micropumps, microlenses, and cell culture substrates, with various thicknesses from microscale to nanoscale. In this study, we propose a simple fabrication method for PDMS membranes on a water surface, referred to as the floating-on-water (FoW) method. FoW can be used to easily fabricate PDMS membranes with thicknesses of a few micrometers (minimum 3 μm) without special equipment. In addition, as the membrane is fabricated on the water surface, it can be easily handled without damage. In addition, alternative membrane structures were demonstrated, such as membrane-on-pins and droplet-shaped membranes. FoW can be widely used in various applications that require PDMS membranes with microscale thicknesses.
Project description:Seasonal and novel influenza infections have the potential to cause worldwide pandemics. In order to properly treat infected patients and to limit its spread, a rapid, accurate and automatic influenza diagnostic tool needs to be developed. This study therefore presents a new integrated microfluidic system for the rapid detection of influenza infections. It integrated a suction-type, pneumatic-driven microfluidic control module, a magnetic bead-based fluorescent immunoassay (FIA) and an end-point optical detection module. This new system can successfully distinguish between influenza A and B using a single chip test within 15 min automatically, which is faster than existing devices. By utilizing the micromixers to thoroughly wash out the sputum-like mucus, this microfluidic system could be used for the diagnosis of clinical specimens and reduced the required sample volume to 40 ?L. Furthermore, the results of diagnostic assays from 86 patient specimens have demonstrated that this system has 84.8 % sensitivity and 75.0 % specificity. This developed system may provide a powerful platform for the fast screening of influenza infections.
Project description:Compartmentalized microfluidic devices with immobilized catalysts are a valuable tool for overcoming the incompatibility challenge in (bio) catalytic cascade reactions and high-throughput screening of multiple reaction parameters. To achieve flow control in microfluidics, stimuli-responsive hydrogel microvalves were previously introduced. However, an application of this valve concept for the control of multistep reactions was not yet shown. To fill this gap, we show the integration of thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNiPAAm) microvalves (diameter: 500 and 600 µm) into PDMS-on-glass microfluidic devices for the control of parallelized enzyme-catalyzed cascade reactions. As a proof-of-principle, the biocatalysts glucose oxidase (GOx), horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and myoglobin (Myo) were immobilized in photopatterned hydrogel dot arrays (diameter of the dots: 350 µm, amount of enzymes: 0.13-2.3 µg) within three compartments of the device. Switching of the microvalves was achieved within 4 to 6 s and thereby the fluid pathway of the enzyme substrate solution (5 mmol/L) in the device was determined. Consequently, either the enzyme cascade reaction GOx-HRP or GOx-Myo was performed and continuously quantified by ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy. The functionality of the microvalves was shown in four hourly switching cycles and visualized by the path-dependent substrate conversion.
Project description:Dense suspensions of swimming bacteria are living fluids, an archetype of active matter. For example, Bacillus subtilis confined within a disc-shaped region forms a persistent stable vortex that counterrotates at the periphery. Here, we examined Escherichia coli under similar confinement and found that these bacteria, instead, form microspin cycles: a single vortex that periodically reverses direction on time scales of seconds. Using experimental perturbations of the confinement geometry, medium viscosity, bacterial length, density, and chemotaxis pathway, we show that morphological alterations of the bacteria transition a stable vortex into a periodically reversing one. We develop a mathematical model based on single-cell biophysics that quantitatively recreates the dynamics of these vortices and predicts that density gradients power the reversals. Our results define how microbial physics drives the active behavior of dense bacterial suspensions and may allow one to engineer novel micromixers for biomedical and other microfluidic applications.
Project description:There is an increasing interest in developing microfluidic bioreactors and organs-on-a-chip platforms combined with sensing capabilities for continual monitoring of cell-secreted biomarkers. Conventional approaches such as ELISA and mass spectroscopy cannot satisfy the needs of continual monitoring as they are labor-intensive and not easily integrable with low-volume bioreactors. This paper reports on the development of an automated microfluidic bead-based electrochemical immunosensor for in-line measurement of cell-secreted biomarkers. For the operation of the multi-use immunosensor, disposable magnetic microbeads were used to immobilize biomarker-recognition molecules. Microvalves were further integrated in the microfluidic immunosensor chip to achieve programmable operations of the immunoassay including bead loading and unloading, binding, washing, and electrochemical sensing. The platform allowed convenient integration of the immunosensor with liver-on-chips to carry out continual quantification of biomarkers secreted from hepatocytes. Transferrin and albumin productions were monitored during a 5-day hepatotoxicity assessment in which human primary hepatocytes cultured in the bioreactor were treated with acetaminophen. Taken together, our unique microfluidic immunosensor provides a new platform for in-line detection of biomarkers in low volumes and long-term in vitro assessments of cellular functions in microfluidic bioreactors and organs-on-chips.
Project description:Influenza viruses with multiple subtypes have highly virulent in humans, of which influenza hemagglutinin (HA) is the major viral surface antigen. Simultaneous and automated detection of multiple influenza HA are of great importance for early-stage diagnosis and operator protection. Herein, a magnetism and size mediated microfluidic platform was developed for point-of-care detection of multiple influenza HA. With multiplex microvalves and computer program control, the detection process showed high automation which had a great potential for avoiding the high-risk virus exposure to the operator. Taking advantage of magnetism and size mediated multiple physical fields, multiple influenza HA could be simultaneous separation and detection depended on different-size magnetic beads. Using high-luminance quantum dots as reporter, this assay achieved high sensitivity with a detection limit of 3.4 ng/mL for H7N9 HA and 4.5 ng/mL for H9N2 HA, and showed excellent specificity, anti-interference ability and good reproducibility. These results indicate that this method may propose new avenues for early detection of multiple influenza subtypes.
Project description:It is difficult to mix two liquids on a microfluidic chip because the small dimensions and velocities effectively prevent the turbulence. This paper describes two 2-layer PDMS passive micromixers based on the concept of splitting and recombining the flow that exploits a self-rotated contact surface to increase the concentration gradients to obtain fast and efficient mixing. The designed micromixers were simulated and the mixing performance was assessed. The mixers have shown excellent mixing efficiency over a wide range of Reynolds number. The mixers were reasonably fabricated by multilayer soft lithography, and the experimental measurements were performed to qualify the mixing performance of the realized mixer. The results show that the mixing efficiency for one realized mixer is from 91.8% to 87.7% when the Reynolds number increases from 0.3 to 60, while the corresponding value for another mixer is from 89.4% to 72.9%. It is rather interesting that the main mechanism for the rapid mixing is from diffusion to chaotic advection when the flow rate increases, but the mixing efficiency has not obvious decline. The smart geometry of the mixers with total length of 10.25 mm makes it possible to be integrated with many microfluidic devices for various applications in μ-TAS and Lab-on-a-chip systems.