Love Wave Fully Integrated Lab-on-chip Platform for Food Pathogen Detection
Abstract: LOVE-FOOD project deals with the development of a fully autonomous analysis system for the detection of pathogens in food samples. To achieve this, bio, nano and micro technologies are converged to produce a Lab-ob-Chip (LOC) diagnostic system for sample pre-treatment, target (DNA) amplification and analyte detection. Several innovations, already gathered in the work plan, hold promise for making the final product a scientific as well as economic success. The heart of the system is an acoustic wave sensor based on a Love wave guide configuration. A significant advantage associated with the above device lies in an innovative sensing approach, which performs label-free sensing of DNA length; this patented methodology is used to discriminate between double stranded DNAs produced in the same PCR reaction (each one indicative of a different bacteria) after direct loading of the unpurified sample on the device surface.
More innovations are incorporated in the sample pre-treatment modules; we are using two plasma nanotextured polymer platforms to achieve bacteria capturing and lysis and DNA purification; DNA amplification is carried out in a foil-based microPCR module located next to the acoustic biochip detector.
In addition, the consortium is addressing issues related to the development of a microfluidic control system operating with high accuracy and encapsulation of sub-modules to a credit-card size LOC platform. The system is controlled through a single measuring unit incorporating the acoustic, temperature and fluidic elements through the help of a user-friendly software. All modules as well as the biochip sensor can be fabricated using commercially micro engineering techniques, amenable to large scale production.