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Title: Design of microfluidic multiplex cartridge for point of care diagnostics
Authors: Ereku, Luck Tosan
Advisors: Balachandran, W
Ajayi, KT
Keywords: DNA extraction;Isothermal amplification;Lab-on-a-chip;Silicon elastomeric blisters;Passive valve
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: A simple, but innovative microfluidic Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) device which is broadly applicable in point of care diagnostics of biological pathogens was designed, fabricated and assembled utilising explicit microfluidic techniques. The purpose of this design was to develop a cartridge with the capability to perform multiplex DNA amplification reactions on a single device. To achieve this outcome, conventional laboratory protocols for sample preparation; involving DNA extraction, purification and elution were miniaturized to suit this lab-on-a-chip device of 75mm X 50mm cross-sectional area. The extraction process was carried out in a uniquely designed microchamber embedded with chitosan membrane that binds DNA at pH 5.0 and elutes when a different solution at pH 9.0 flows through. Likewise, purification protocol that occurs in the designed waste reservoir is very significant in biomedical field because it is concerned with waste treatment and cartridge disposability, was performed with a super absorbent powder that converts liquid to a gel like substance. This powder is known as sodium polyacrylate, which is also they treated with anti-bacterial chemicals to prevent environmental contamination. Furthermore, this process also employed the use of a passive valve for a precise fluid handling operation involving flow regulation from extraction to waste reservoir. In order to achieve the intended multiplexing function a multiplexer was created to distribute flow simultaneously through a bifurcated network of channels connected to six similar amplification microchambers. Prior to fabrication, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation was utilized at flowrates less than 10μL/s as the means to test the effectiveness of each design components and also to specifically deduct empirical values that can be analyzed to improve or understand the relationship between the fluid and geometrical constraints of the microfluidic modular elements. The device produced was a hybrid cartridge composed of PDMS and glass which is the most widely used materials microfluidics research due to their low cost and simplicity of fabrication by soft lithography technique. The choice of material also took into account the various physical and chemical properties advantages and disadvantages in their bio-medical applications. Such properties include but not limited to surface energy that determines the wetting fluid characteristics, biocompatibility, optical transparency. Subsequently, after a prototype cartridge was developed fluid flow experimentation using liquid coloured dye was used on the fully fabricated cartridge to test the efficacy of its microfluidic functionalities before expensive DNA amplification reagents were utilised at similar flowrates to the CFD simulations. This gave rise to comparison between similar and dissimilar flow Peculiarities in the microfluidic circuit of both experiments. The final experiment was performed with the aid of a recent molecular technique in DNA amplification known as of RPA kit (recombinase polymerase amplification reaction). It involved performing two main reaction experiments; first, was the positive experiment that bears the sample DNA and the latter, negative that served as the control without DNA. In the end, quantitative analysis of results was done using an agarose gel that showed 143 base pairs, for the positive samples, thus validating the amplification experiment.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Dept of Electronic and Electrical Engineering Theses

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