A Fully Integrated In Vitro Diagnostic Microsystem for Pathogen Detection Developed Using a "3D Extensible" Microfluidic Design Paradigm
Microfluidics is facing critical challenges in the quest of miniaturizing, integrating, and automating in vitro diagnostics, including the increasing complexity of assays, the gap between the macroscale world and the microscale devices, and the diverse throughput demands in various clinical settings. Here, a "3D extensible" microfluidic design paradigm that consists of a set of basic structures and unit operations was developed for constructing any application-specific assay. Four basic
... Four basic structures—check valve (in), check valve (out), double-check valve (in and out), and on–off valve—were designed to mimic basic acts in biochemical assays. By combining these structures linearly, a series of unit operations can be readily formed. We then proposed a "3D extensible" architecture to fulfill the needs of the function integration, the adaptive "world-to-chip" interface, and the adjustable throughput in the X, Y, and Z directions, respectively. To verify this design paradigm, we developed a fully integrated loop-mediated isothermal amplification microsystem that can directly accept swab samples and detect Chlamydia trachomatis automatically with a sensitivity one order higher than that of the conventional kit. This demonstration validated the feasibility of using this paradigm to develop integrated and automated microsystems in a less risky and more consistent manner.