The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has changed people's lives and the diagnostic landscape. The nucleic acid amplification test (NAT) as the gold standard for SARS-CoV-2 detection has been applied in containing its transmission. However, there remains a lack of an affordable on-site detection system at resource-limited areas. In this study, a low cost “sample-in-answer-out” system incorporating nucleic acid extraction, purification, and amplification was developed on a single macrochannel-to-digital microfluidic chip. The macrochannel fluidic subsystem worked as a world-to-chip interface receiving 500-1000 μL raw samples, which then underwent bead-based extraction and purification processes before being delivered to DMF. Electrodes actuate an eluent dispensed to eight independent droplets for reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). By reading with 4 florescence channels, the system can accommodate a maximum of 32 detection targets. To evaluate the proposed platform, a comprehensive assessment was conducted on the microfluidic chip as well as its functional components (i.e., extraction and amplification). The platform demonstrated a superior performance. In particular, using clinical specimens, the chip targeting SARS-CoV-2 and Flu A/B exhibited 100% agreement with off-chip diagnoses. Furthermore, the fabrication of chips is ready for scaled-up manufacturing and they are cost-effective for disposable use since they are assembled using a printed circuit board (PCB) and prefabricated blocks. Overall, the macrochannel-to-digital microfluidic platform coincides with the requirements of point-of-care testing (POCT) because of its advantages: low-cost, ease of use, comparable sensitivity and specificity, and availability for mass production.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Chemistry
- Biomedical Engineering