Disc-shaped point-of-care platform for infectious disease diagnosis
Abstract: The FP7-ICT project DiscoGnosis aims at developing a centrifugal microfluidic platform with integrated components for the multiplexed detection of tropical diseases, namely malaria, dengue, typhoid fever and pneumonia. These infections are primarily located at Sub-Saharan Africa, but there is always the risk of expansion to Europe due to climate change or returning travellers. Key diagnostic challenges are addressed in DiscoGnosis via the unique technical features of the LabDisk platform: (i) the integration of isothermal nucleic acid amplification (LAMP) and protein detection on the same disc allows discrimination of the pathogenic agents in terms or bacteria, viruses, or parasites; (ii) the disc-stored components (such as buffers and magnetic beads for sample preparation, as well as primers/probes for amplification) render the platform fully automated and user-friendly, which is especially needed for settings with limited trained personnel; (iii) the scalable fabrication technology of the disposables (microthermoforming of polymer foils) allows cost-effective kit production; (iv) the modular nature of the platform (based on microfluidic unit operations, i.e., interfaced microfluidic structures, each one serving a specific function) offers a high degree of adaptability to diagnostic panel needs. Bioassay development, microfluidic design and integration, as well as detection technologies are some of the main fields of technical progress. The system is planned to be validated during 2015 at the Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal and at the Nyankunde Medical Center in Bunia, Congo.