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Technical Briefs

A Dedicated Low-Cost Fluorescence Microfluidic Device Reader for Point-of-Care Ocular Diagnostics

[+] Author and Article Information
Noah Pestana

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Northeastern University,
Boston, MA 02115

Adam Hatch, Shashi K. Murthy

Department of Chemical Engineering,
Northeastern University,
Boston, MA 02115

Glenn J. Jaffe

Department of Ophthalmology,
Duke University Eye Center,
P. O. Box 3802, Durham, NC 27710

Mark Niedre

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Northeastern University,
Boston, MA 02115
e-mail: mniedre@ece.neu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received March 26, 2012; final manuscript received December 5, 2012; published online June 24, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Erol Sancaktar.

J. Med. Devices 7(2), 024501 (Jun 24, 2013) (4 pages) Paper No: MED-12-1045; doi: 10.1115/1.4023995 History: Received March 26, 2012; Revised December 05, 2012

Microfluidic fluorescence assay devices show great promise as preclinical and clinical diagnostic instruments. Normally, fluorescence signals from microfluidic chips are quantified by analysis of images obtained with a commercial fluorescence microscope. This method is unnecessarily expensive, time consuming, and requires significant operator training, particularly when considering future clinical translation of the technology. In this work, we developed a dedicated low cost fluorescence microfluidic device reader (FMDR) to read sandwich immunofluorescence assay (sIFA) devices configured to detect vascular endothelial growth factor ligand concentrations in ocular fluid samples. Using a series of sIFA calibration standards and a limited set of human ocular fluid samples, we demonstrated that our FMDR reader has similar sensitivity and accuracy to a fluorescence microscope for this task, with significantly lower total cost and reduced reading time. We anticipate that the reader could be used with minor modifications for virtually any fluorescence microfluidic device.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Photograph of the sandwich immune-fluorescence assay device, (b) an example fluorescence microscopy image, showing pillar and channel surfaces coated with a capture antibody and Oregon Green labeling. (c) A schematic diagram and (d) photograph of the dedicated fluorescence reader for the microfluidic devices. The total cost of all system components was approximately $5,000.

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Fig. 2

Fluorescence measurements from a series of bare-pillar microfluidic device calibration standards filled with 1 to 100 pmol/L Oregon Green solutions, obtained using (a) the FMDR, and (b) fluorescence microscopy. (c) Comparison of readings obtained using the FMDR and fluorescence microscopy.

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Fig. 3

Fluorescence measurements from a series of microfluidic device calibration standards from 1 to 1000 pg/mL VEGF, obtained using (a) the FMDR, and (b) fluorescence microscopy as a function sample concentration. (c) Comparison of readings obtained using the two methods.

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