A new lab-on-a-chip platform which is capable of detecting pathogens has been developed by a research team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy & Immunology.
Unlike, the nuclear amplification testing which is manually intensive and complex, lab-on-a-chip automates the process in a single instrument.
‘New lab-on-a-chip involves the use of a single automated instrument for detecting pathogens.’
"We were motivated by the existing need for making the molecular analysis of complex samples much simpler for the users," commented Sandetskaya. "Our particular applied interest is the detection of the pathogens in blood; for instance in sepsis, when only a few microorganisms must be rapidly found in a large volume of blood."
The chip utilizes microfluidics and integrates sample volume transition, lysis, nucleic acid isolation, amplification (PCR or LAMP), and real-time fluorescence detection. As a single instrument, it could enable diagnostics in situations not previously feasible.
The researchers go on to demonstrate its proof-of-concept in the detection of E. coli and Salmonella bacterial species.
"Although our current prototype of the platform will need further development for this application, we have already demonstrated a high level of integration of very diverse processes without making the system overly complex," noted Sandetskaya.
The team is now planning experiments to evaluate the platform in real-world samples and perfect its design.