Development of a microfluidic device for detection of pathogens in oral samples using upconverting phosphor technology (UPT)

William R. Abrams, Cheryl A. Barber, Kurt McCann, Gary Tong, Zongyuan Chen, Michael G. Mauk, Jing Wang, Alex Volkov, Pete Bourdelle, Paul L.A.M. Corstjens, Michel Zuiderwijk, Keith Kardos, Shang Li, Hans J. Tanke, R. Sam Niedbala, Daniel Malamud, Haim Bau

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Confirmatory detection of diseases, such as HIV and HIV-associated pathogens in a rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic remains a goal for disease control, prevention, and therapy. If a sample could be analyzed onsite with a verified result, the individual could be counseled immediately and appropriate therapy initiated. Our group is focused on developing a microfluidic "lab-on-a-chip" that will simultaneously identify antigens, antibodies, RNA, and DNA using a single oral sample. The approach has been to design individual modules for each assay that uses similar components (e.g., valves, heaters, metering chambers, mixers) installed on a polycarbonate base with a common reporter system. Assay miniaturization reduces the overall analysis time, increases accuracy by simultaneously identifying multiple targets, and enhances detector sensitivity by upconverting phosphor technology (UPT). Our microfluidic approach employs four interrelated components: (1) sample acquisition-OraSure UPlink™ collectors that pick-up and release bacteria, soluble analytes, and viruses from an oral sample; (2) microfluidic processing-movement of microliter volumes of analyte, target analyte extraction and amplification; (3) detection of analytes using UPT particles in a lateral flow system; and (4) software for processing the results. Ultimately, the oral-based microscale diagnostic system will detect viruses and bacteria, associated pathogen antigens and nucleic acids, and antibodies to these pathogens.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationOral-based Diagnostics
    PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)157331661X, 9781573316613
    StatePublished - Mar 2007

    Publication series

    NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
    ISSN (Print)0077-8923
    ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


    • Confirmatory
    • Diagnostic
    • HIV
    • Lateral flow
    • Microfluidic
    • Multiplex analysis
    • Oral fluid
    • Pathogen
    • Point-of-care
    • Saliva

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Neuroscience
    • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
    • History and Philosophy of Science


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