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I-Corps: Paper-based Microfluidic Viral Diagnostic Device

McLachlan, James B
Tulane University
Start date
End date
The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is the versatile nature of the diagnostic device created to be used in many industries ranging from public health, veterinary medicine, food processing, and water testing. The hand held diagnostic device can be used as a point-of-care detection system in the case of an endemic disease outbreak. Ease of usage and visual color change will help in quick diagnosis as well as prophylactic care. It may also be possible that this will improve detection, treatment and eradication of the target molecule such as in the case of a microbe or toxin leading to quicker patient recovery.

This I-Corps project was based on the concept of using spectrum-shifting ability of gold nanoparticles as detection molecules on a passive paper flow assay. Wax printing technology is used to print channels on filter paper in which an area is treated with lectins, which clump the cellular component of blood and only let plasma flow. The plasma contains the target molecule for which an anti-target molecule protein is adhered onto gold nanoparticles coated at the end of the wax channels. By the concept of a target/anti-target molecule response, the adhered gold nanoparticles attach onto the target molecules and form complexes. This aggregation of causes a shift in the light spectrum leading to a visual color change. Based on the chosen target molecule, gold nanoparticles could be adhered with different types of protein molecules giving an endless possibility the device used for the detection of different target molecules in various industries.
Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project source
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Project number
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Antimicrobial Resistance
Prevention and Control