Heat, Fluid, and Sample Control in Point-of-Care Diagnostics
Buser, Joshua R.
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Point-of-care diagnostics have transformed healthcare workflow, perhaps most notably in the wide-reaching impact of home pregnancy tests. Lateral flow strips are simple and inexpensive, but limited in their application to relatively simple diagnostic tasks. Nucleic acid amplification assays on the other hand are more accurate and sensitive, but currently restricted to use in well-equipped laboratories due to reliance on external supplies, power, and trained users. The Multiplexable Autonomous Disposables for Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests in Limited Resource Settings (MAD NAAT) Project, led by Paul Yager, uses instrument-free, disposable, paper-based fluidics for multiple pathogen detection with DNA/RNA. The end goal is to create a sample in, answer out isothermal nucleic acid amplification device simple enough for untrained users, with low enough cost to enable wider use of nucleic acid testing. My contributions to this project, combining to form my thesis, include advances in sample preparation for nucleic acid amplification, isothermal chemical temperature control, and fluid transport in paper microfluidics. Progress in these subject areas will help advance the development of nucleic acid tests and other advanced assays compatible with point-of-care usage.
- Bioengineering