Multiple semi-quantitative colorimetric assays in compact embeddable microfluidic cloth-based analytical device (μCAD) for effective point-of-care diagnostic


Cotton fabric is proposed as an alternative material for low-cost point-of-care devices. Cotton fabrics are vastly available, low cost and flexible. Simple wax patterning method was applied to create hydrophilic channels in cotton fabric. Three-dimensional (3D) colorimetric microfluidic device was made by folding 2D pattern along certain predefined lines. Three-dimensional devices show better mixing uniformity between reagents and analyte across the detection zones. On-chip colorimetric calibration is also proposed by putting predefined serially diluted samples next to the detection zones. Multiple assays can be integrated within a small surface area by stacking layers of individual assay device separated by a wax-impregnated fabric. We were able to detect glucose, nitrite and protein having concentration as low as 0.5 mM, 30 μM and 0.8 mg/mL, respectively, by bare eyes. Results of the assays from an unknown analyte sample and precalibrated serially diluted sample standards were displayed in a side-by-side configuration, and the interference of each analyte on the other reaction zones was investigated. These results are better than if the detection is merely taken from the calibration curve without integrated standard calibration. The mechanical durability, robustness and flexibility of 3D microfluidic cloth-based analytical device (μCAD) also make it easily embeddable to daily wearable product. We demonstrated multiple single-step qualitative assays using embedded 3D μCAD and propose a new concept of “point-of-sampling diagnostic”.

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The project is funded by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) through Tier-1 Research University (RU) Grant under Vot. No. 01H65, 03H30, 05H32, and A.N. was also supported by UTM through Foreign Academic Visitor Fund (FAVF) Vot. No. R.J130000.7736.4D004. The project is also supported by Ministry of Education Malaysia (MoE) under Fundamental Research Grant (FRGS) Vot. No. 4F328. We thank UTM’s Research Management Centre (RMC) for managing the grants. We would like to thank Prof. Ir. Dr. M. Rafiq Abd. Kader for his support at Mediteg Lab, Faculty of Biosciences and Medical Engineering, UTM. We would like to thank Mr. Syed Mustafa Syed Azman for technical helps during the experiments. We acknowledge the help of Mr. Hairol Akmal Jawahir for videotaping the experimental procedures.

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Correspondence to Dedy H. B. Wicaksono.

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Nilghaz, A., Bagherbaigi, S., Lam, C.L. et al. Multiple semi-quantitative colorimetric assays in compact embeddable microfluidic cloth-based analytical device (μCAD) for effective point-of-care diagnostic. Microfluid Nanofluid 19, 317–333 (2015) doi:10.1007/s10404-015-1545-9

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  • Point-of-care device
  • Cotton fabrics
  • Colorimetric assay
  • Lab on chip
  • Embedded microfluidic cloth-based analytical device
  • Point-of-sampling diagnostic