Special Issue "Point-of-Care Devices"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "B:Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jane Ru Choi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, 2054–6250 Applied Science Lane, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
2. Centre for Blood Research, Life Sciences Centre, University of British Columbia, 2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada
Interests: point-of-care technologies; lab-on-a-chip; analytical chemistry; nanotechnology; stem cells; tissue engineering; bioengineering; cell and molecular biology; biochemistry
Dr. Kar Wey Yong
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Interests: biosensing; stem cells; tissue engineering; microfluidics; biomaterials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Conventional laboratory tests, including protein and nucleic acid tests, rely heavily on high-end instrumentation and highly trained operators, limiting their use in resource-poor settings. With the increasing incidence of infectious diseases and water and food contamination, particularly in developing countries with poor infrastructure, there is an urgent need to develop robust, inexpensive, portable and rapid point-of-care (POC) devices, including paper- and chip-based devices. These POC technologies are able to carry out sophisticated tests in a simple and cost-effective manner. This Special Issue aims to discuss the recent advances in POC devices for various applications, including medical diagnosis, food safety and environmental monitoring. Topics include but are not limited to the development of paper- and chip-based POC devices for the detection of target analytes based upon colorimetric, fluorescent and electrochemical detection. We invite researchers to share their knowledge by contributing relevant original research articles, short communications and review articles.

Dr. Jane Ru Choi
Dr. Kar Wey Yong
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Point-of-care technologies
  • Paper-based devices
  • Chip-based devices
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Food safety
  • Environmental monitoring

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Microfluidic Device Integrated with Chitosan-Modified Capillaries for Rapid ZIKV Detection
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020186 - 11 Feb 2020
Abstract
The outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) has posed a great challenge to public health in recent years. To address the urgent need of ZIKV RNA assays, we integrate the microfluidic chip embedded with chitosan-modified silicon dioxide capillaries, smartphone-based detection unit to be a [...] Read more.
The outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) has posed a great challenge to public health in recent years. To address the urgent need of ZIKV RNA assays, we integrate the microfluidic chip embedded with chitosan-modified silicon dioxide capillaries, smartphone-based detection unit to be a C3-system for the rapid extraction and detection of ZIKV RNA. The C3-system is characterized by: (1) four chitosan-modified silicon dioxide capillaries integrated in the microfluidic chip for target ZIKV RNA enrichment and “in situ PCR” (polymerase chain reaction) amplification; (2) smartphone-based point of care (POC) device consisting of a pneumatic subsystem for controlling the nucleic acid extraction processes in the microfluidic chip, a heating subsystem for sample lysis and PCR amplification, and an optical subsystem for signal acquisition. The entire detection processes including sample lysis, ZIKV RNA enrichment, and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is achieved in the microfluidic chip. Moreover, PCR buffers can be directly loaded into the chitosan-modified silicon dioxide capillaries for “in situ PCR”, in which the captured ZIKV RNA is directly used for downstream PCR without any loss. ZIKV RNA extracted by the C3-system can be successfully recovered at very low concentrations of 50 transducing units (TU)/mL from crude human saliva. This means that our method of detecting viremia in patients infected with ZIKV is reliable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Point-of-Care Devices)
Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Characterization of Freely-Suspended Graphene Nanomechanical Membrane Devices with Quantum Dots for Point-of-Care Applications
Micromachines 2020, 11(1), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11010104 - 18 Jan 2020
Abstract
We demonstrate freely suspended graphene-based nanomechanical membranes (NMMs) as acoustic sensors in the audible frequency range. Simple and low-cost procedures are used to fabricate NMMs with various thicknesses based on graphene layers grown by graphite exfoliation and solution processed graphene oxide. In addition, [...] Read more.
We demonstrate freely suspended graphene-based nanomechanical membranes (NMMs) as acoustic sensors in the audible frequency range. Simple and low-cost procedures are used to fabricate NMMs with various thicknesses based on graphene layers grown by graphite exfoliation and solution processed graphene oxide. In addition, NMMs are grafted with quantum dots (QDs) for characterizing mass sensitive vibrational properties. Thickness, roughness, deformation, deflection and emissions of NMMs with attached QDs are experimented and analyzed by utilizing atomic force microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, laser induced deflection analyzer and spectrophotometers. Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is experimentally achieved between the QDs attached on NMMs and nearby glass surfaces for illustrating acousto-optic utilization in future experimental implementations combining vibrational properties of NMMs with optical emission properties of QDs. This property denoted as vibrating FRET (VFRET) is previously introduced in theoretical studies while important experimental steps are for the first time achieved in this study for future VFRET implementations. The proposed modeling and experimental methodology are promising for future novel applications such as NMM based biosensing, photonics and VFRET based point-of-care (PoC) devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Point-of-Care Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Paper-Based Resazurin Assay of Inhibitor-Treated Porcine Sperm
Micromachines 2019, 10(8), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10080495 - 25 Jul 2019
Abstract
Porcine sperm motility was assessed via resazurin reduction color change in sperm cells using a novel paper-based assay of our own design. We applied mixtures of resazurin solution and porcine semen onto hydrophilic test circles on our paper-based device and investigated the resulting [...] Read more.
Porcine sperm motility was assessed via resazurin reduction color change in sperm cells using a novel paper-based assay of our own design. We applied mixtures of resazurin solution and porcine semen onto hydrophilic test circles on our paper-based device and investigated the resulting reduction reaction expressed as red and blue color intensity (RBCI). We quantified this reaction using a blue/pink color ratio from our 8 × 3 = 24 bit RGB color image. To examine enzymatic reactivity in sperm cells, we used two inhibitors: 3-Nitropropanoic acid (3-NPA) and 3-Bromopyruvic acid (3-BP). 3-NPA inhibits the citric acid cycle and electron transfer reaction in mitochondria, but did not strongly reduce sperm motility in our tests. 3-BP decreases reactivity of both mitochondrial electron transfer and glycolytic enzymes in cytosol, which significantly lowers porcine sperm motility. RBCIs of 3-NPA- and 3-BP-treated samples were significantly lower compared to our untreated control (p < 0.025). Based on these results, we feel that resazurin can be used to estimate the amount of reductants with and without inhibitor treatment. For continued research assessing the molecular mechanisms of resazurin reduction in porcine sperm, a combination assay using two or more redox indicators (e.g., resazurin and Thiazolyl Blue Tetrazolium Bromide (MTT)) embedded into our paper-based device could further our understanding of sperm cell bioenergetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Point-of-Care Devices)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
2D Materials in Development of Electrochemical Point-of-Care Cancer Screening Devices
Micromachines 2019, 10(10), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10100662 - 30 Sep 2019
Abstract
Effective cancer treatment requires early detection and monitoring the development progress in a simple and affordable manner. Point-of care (POC) screening can provide a portable and inexpensive tool for the end-users to conveniently operate test and screen their health conditions without the necessity [...] Read more.
Effective cancer treatment requires early detection and monitoring the development progress in a simple and affordable manner. Point-of care (POC) screening can provide a portable and inexpensive tool for the end-users to conveniently operate test and screen their health conditions without the necessity of special skills. Electrochemical methods hold great potential for clinical analysis of variety of chemicals and substances as well as cancer biomarkers due to their low cost, high sensitivity, multiplex detection ability, and miniaturization aptitude. Advances in two-dimensional (2D) material-based electrochemical biosensors/sensors are accelerating the performance of conventional devices toward more practical approaches. Here, recent trends in the development of 2D material-based electrochemical biosensors/sensors, as the next generation of POC cancer screening tools, are summarized. Three cancer biomarker categories, including proteins, nucleic acids, and some small molecules, will be considered. Various 2D materials will be introduced and their biomedical applications and electrochemical properties will be given. The role of 2D materials in improving the performance of electrochemical sensing mechanisms as well as the pros and cons of current sensors as the prospective devices for POC screening will be emphasized. Finally, the future scopes of implementing 2D materials in electrochemical POC cancer diagnostics for the clinical translation will be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Point-of-Care Devices)
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