Molecular detection of pathogens in clinical samples often requires pretreatment techniques, including immunomagnetic separation and magnetic silica-bead-based DNA purification to obtain the purified DNA of pathogens. These two techniques usually rely on handling small tubes containing a few millilitres of the sample and manual operation, implying that an automated system encompassing both techniques is needed for larger quantities of the samples. Here, we report a three-dimensional (3D)-printed millifluidic platform that enables bacterial preconcentration and genomic DNA (gDNA) purification for improving the molecular detection of target pathogens in blood samples. The device consists of two millichannels and one chamber, which can be used to preconcentrate pathogens bound to antibody-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles (Ab-MNPs) and subsequently extract gDNA using magnetic silica beads (MSBs) in a sequential manner. The platform was able to preconcentrate very low concentrations (1–1000 colony forming units (CFU)) of Escherichia coli
O157:H7 and extract their genomic DNA in 10 mL of buffer and 10% blood within 30 min. The performance of the platform was verified by detecting as low as 1 CFU of E. coli
O157:H7 in 10% blood using either polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with post gel electrophoresis or quantitative PCR. The results suggest that the 3D-printed millifluidic platform is highly useful for lowering the limitations on molecular detection in blood by preconcentrating the target pathogen and isolating its DNA in a large volume of the sample.
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