A highly integrated and sensitive PORous SIlicon based lab on a chip for multiple quantitaTIVE monitoring of Food allergies at point of care of Food allergies at point of care.
Abstract: By integrating and interfacing multiple core technologies and related materials from fluidics and photonics technology to porous silicon (porSi) and polymers, Positive will target the implementation of a microsystem tailored to a specific application with a key societal and economic need. The very high surface to volume ratio of porSi permits very high surface densities of bound antibody-antigen complexes in a reduced volume that through a novel optical interaction leads to scores of sensing areas on a 1cm2 chip with detection-limits down to ~0.1 pg/mm2, significantly beyond state of the art for highly integrated label free sensors at point of care.
This offers the further advantageous possibility of assaying several parameters simultaneously (multi-assay) leading to further increases in the reliability and reductions in the measurement uncertainty of a diagnostic over single-parameter assays. The novel Lab-on-Chip technology has the potential to be fast and easy to use, making routine screening or monitoring with immunoassays more cost-effective.
The ultimate goal of Positive will be to demonstrate a safe and rapid low cost diagnostic test for food allergies at point of care such as in a GP’s office or hospital. A quantitative determination of allergy sensitization is expected within ~15’ of adding <100μl of blood. A final prototype consisting of a packaged biochip and reader will be used on clinical samples in order to determine sensitization to allergens such as that for hen’s eggs, cow’s milk, peanuts, wheat, treenuts, fish, sesame, and shrimp ingestion.
The two industrial partners with their international market strategies and a clinical specialist for food allergies in children as an end-user will enable us to target the whole value chain from research to validation. It is therefore expected that this novel and beyond state of the art Lab-on -Chip will give impetus to the global competitiveness and profitability of European industry in Microsystems activities.
During the course of the project, after several different lengthy and comprehensive exploratory activities, it was realised that the development of a suitable porous silicon membrane for a marketable Positive biosensor platform, if possible could not be done within the lifetime of the project. In parallel, porous alumina was found to have both optimal fluidic and similar optical properties as well as being commericially available at a low cost and with less or no problems for freedom to operate as part of a final commericial Positive platform. For that reason, some porSi related objectives, milestones, deliverables and tasks have been cancelled.