A WiFi scanner in conjunction with disposable multiplex paper assay for the quantitation of disease markers in blood plasma


Herein we report a quantitative, multiplex assay for disease markers in plasma based on an integrated setup of a portable scanner and a disposable paper-based analytical device (PAD). The quantitative analysis relies on the digital colorimetric reading of the three-layer PAD with 30 assay sites for performing respective chromogenic reactions for plasma uric acid, glucose, and triglyceride, which are considered as important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. A portable scanner with WiFi transmission capability was used to produce high-quality color images of the PADs and wirelessly transfer them to a smartphone or other mobile devices for data processing. The concentrations of biomarkers in both standard solutions and plasma samples can be directly obtained using a custom-designed smartphone app that is also capable of constructing calibration curves. The detection limits of uric acid, glucose, and triglyceride were determined to be 0.50 mg/dL, 0.84 mmol/L, and 14 mg/dL, respectively, which are below the normal limits and adequate for clinical validation. Owing to the distinct advantages—simple, portable, and cost-effective—this mobile assay protocol can be used for point-of-care (POC) settings or resource-limited situations, and potentially for the diagnosis and prevention of infectious diseases.

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We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21874098; 21575098); Shanxi Province International Cooperation Project (Grant No. 201903D421053); Shanxi Province University Scientific and Technological Achievements Transformation and Cultivation Project. This research was jointly supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada.

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Xiaochun Li or Hua-Zhong Yu.

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Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this work were in accordance with the protocols approved by the Biology and Medical Ethics Committee of Taiyuan University of Technology. The tested plasma samples were provided by the Shanxi Bethune Hospital with the consent from the patients and following the hospital’s regulation.

Conflict of interest

The authors have filed a China Patent (Application No. 201910668486.9) on July 23, 2019 to protect the IP disclosed in this publication.

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Published in the topical collection Analytical Chemistry for Infectious Disease Detection and Prevention with guest editors Chaoyong Yang and XiuJun (James) Li.

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Hou, P., Deng, R., Guo, J. et al. A WiFi scanner in conjunction with disposable multiplex paper assay for the quantitation of disease markers in blood plasma. Anal Bioanal Chem (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-021-03234-6

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  • Bioassays
  • Point-of-care (POC) diagnosis
  • Paper-based analytical device (PAD)
  • Smartphone app
  • Colorimetry