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Postdoctoral Candidate Seminar: Rapid point-of-care diagnostics in thermoplastic microfluidic devices

February 4, 2015 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Postdoctoral Candidate Seminar

Omid David Rahmanian

Ph.D. candidate, University of Maryland, College Park

Rapid point-of-care diagnostics in thermoplastic microfluidic devices


Early detection of exposure to virulent pathogens is often vital to proper treatment of the patient and is vital for improving the state of global health where existing medical programs are severely hindered. Rapid, accurate, and inexpensive medical diagnostic technologies are highly desirable in resource-poor regions such as sub- Saharan Africa, as well as for on-field military operations and cases of defense against acts of bio-terrorism, where access to centralized laboratories is virtually non-existent.

Microfluidics has the potential to fulfill this un-met need via low-cost, disposable, point- of-care (POC) diagnostic devices. Currently the majority of the research, both in academia as well as industry has been limited to polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrates because of the ease and speed of fabrication afforded by soft lithography technique. However PDMS suffers from a number of inherent disadvantages that limits its use in many applications including POC diagnostics. Thermoplastic substrates on the other hand, in-particular cyclic-olefin copolymers (COC) are ideal materials for disposable POC diagnostic devices since they intrinsically offer great chemical compatibility, low water absorption, and low gas permeability among other desirable characteristics.

In my presentation I will address three main advancements to thermoplastic microfluidic chip fabrication of POC diagnostic devices. Orogenic microfabrication is introduced as a novel fabrication technology for rapid prototyping of microfluidic devices. As a true desktop manufacturing process, orogenic microfabrication significantly reduces the time, expense, and effort invested in prototyping of microfluidic devices. Secondly, a novel integrated burst-valve is developed providing precise control over on-chip fluid handling while enabling long term onchip storage of buffers and reagents. In addition, integrated on-chip pumps are demonstrated, capable of reliably delivering sample and reagents within the chip without the need for off- chip instrumentation. Lastly, a multiplex detection monolithic element is introduced. Utilizing integrated highly porous silica or methacrylate-based polymer monoliths, multiple analytes are detected within a thermoplastic device with concentrations as low as 0.1ng/ml. Collectively, the above technologies result in a simple, disposable device for multiplex, rapid diagnosis of several analytes in a complex fluidic sample. This thermoplastic device will be targeted for practitioners with very little experience in laboratory methods.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

11 am – 12 pm, Malone Hall 107

Hosted by Prof. Sung Hoon Kang