Development of Biomarker Assays for Clinical Diagnostics Using a Digital Microfluidics Platform

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© 2014 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved. Digital microfluidics (DMF) is a novel lab-on-a-chip technology that permits the transport, mixing, and splitting of sub-microliter droplets within an array of electrodes on a disposable printed circuit board entirely under software control. We describe here the applications of this technology to perform different types of assays on extracts of dried blood spots (DBS) from newborns. In particular, a multiplexed assay for up to five different lysosomal enzymes from a single 3 mm DBS punch was developed and validated using quality control materials in addition to DBS from unaffected newborns and from those known to be affected by the enzyme deficiencies corresponding to Pompe, Fabry, Gacher, Hunter, and Hurler disease. Results from the chip compared well with those obtained from a standard benchtop fluorometric assay method. Advantages of DMF include the ability to load the samples and reagents and complete an entire analytical run consisting of 5 enzyme assays on 40 DBS samples, 4 calibrators, and 4 quality controls within 3.5 hours. The device is portable and inexpensive, consumes little energy, uses very low volumes of reagents, and is applicable to any assay based on colorimetric or fluorometric detection methods. In developing countries that have no centralized health care system for collection and analysis of DBS for newborn screening, point-of-care birth testing may be the only practical method to screen newborns for inherited metabolic conditions and for more common conditions faced by developing countries, such as infectious diseases.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Millington, DS; Sista, R; Bali, D; Eckhardt, AE; Pamula, V

Published Date

  • June 30, 2014

Volume / Issue

  • 9781118054697 /

Book Title

  • Dried Blood Spots: Applications and Techniques

Start / End Page

  • 325 - 331

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781118054697

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/9781118890837.ch25

Citation Source

  • Scopus