3D printed microfluidic devices with immunoaffinity monoliths for extraction of preterm birth biomarkers

  • Ellen K. Parker
  • Anna V. Nielsen
  • Michael J. Beauchamp
  • Haifa M. Almughamsi
  • Jacob B. Nielsen
  • Mukul Sonker
  • Hua Gong
  • Gregory P. Nordin
  • Adam T. WoolleyEmail author
Research Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Ultrasmall Sample Biochemical Analysis


Preterm birth (PTB) is defined as birth before the 37th week of pregnancy and results in 15 million early deliveries worldwide every year. Presently, there is no clinical test to determine PTB risk; however, a panel of nine biomarkers found in maternal blood serum has predictive power for a subsequent PTB. A significant step in creating a clinical diagnostic for PTB is designing an automated method to extract and purify these biomarkers from blood serum. Here, microfluidic devices with 45 μm × 50 μm cross-section channels were 3D printed with a built-in polymerization window to allow a glycidyl methacrylate monolith to be site-specifically polymerized within the channel. This monolith was then used as a solid support to attach antibodies for PTB biomarker extraction. Using these functionalized monoliths, it was possible to selectively extract a PTB biomarker, ferritin, from buffer and a human blood serum matrix. This is the first demonstration of monolith formation in a 3D printed microfluidic device for immunoaffinity extraction. Notably, this work is a crucial first step toward developing a 3D printed microfluidic clinical diagnostic for PTB risk.


3D printing Integrated microfluidics Monoliths Point-of-care Sample preparation Sample purification 


Funding information

The authors acknowledge support from the National Institutes of Health (R01 EB006124 and R15 GM123405-01A1). A.V.N. and M.J.B. thank the BYU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for financial support from a Roland K. Robins Fellowship, and H.M.A acknowledges Taif University for financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Research involving human participants

Human blood serum samples were obtained from commercial sources; human subjects work has been approved under IRB no. E18401.

Supplementary material

216_2018_1440_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.9 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 4001 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen K. Parker
    • 1
  • Anna V. Nielsen
    • 1
  • Michael J. Beauchamp
    • 1
  • Haifa M. Almughamsi
    • 1
  • Jacob B. Nielsen
    • 1
  • Mukul Sonker
    • 1
  • Hua Gong
    • 2
  • Gregory P. Nordin
    • 2
  • Adam T. Woolley
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, C100 BNSNBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 450G EBBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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