Multiplexed instrument-free meningitis diagnosis on a polymer/paper hybrid microfluidic biochip
Biosensors and Bioelectronics
© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Neisseria meningitidis (N. meningitidis), Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae), and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) are three most common pathogens accounting for most bacterial meningitis, a serious global infectious disease with high fatality, especially in developing nations. Because the treatment and antibiotics differ among each type, the identification of the exact bacteria causing the disease is vital. Herein, we report a polymer/paper hybrid microfluidic biochip integrated with loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) for multiplexed instrument-free diagnosis of these three major types of bacterial meningitis, with high sensitivity and specificity. Results can be visually observed by the naked eye or imaged by a smartphone camera under a portable UV light source. Without using any specialized laboratory instrument, the limits of detection of a few DNA copies per LAMP zone for N. meningitidis, S. pneumoniae and Hib were achieved within 1 h. In addition, these three types of microorganisms spiked in artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) were directly detected simultaneously, avoiding cumbersome sample preparation procedures in conventional methods. Compared with the paper-free non-hybrid microfluidic biochip over a period of three months, the hybrid microfluidic biochip was found to have a much longer shelf life. Hence, this rapid, instrument-free and highly sensitive microfluidic approach has great potential for point-of-care (POC) diagnosis of multiple infectious diseases simultaneously, especially in resource-limited settings.