Self-powered integrated microfluidic point-of-care low-cost enabling (SIMPLE) chip

Erh Chia Yeh, Chi Cheng Fu, Lucy Hu, Rohan Thakur, Jeffrey Feng, Luke P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

269 Scopus citations


Portable, low-cost, and quantitative nucleic acid detection is desirable for point-of-care diagnostics; however, current polymerase chain reaction testing often requires time-consuming multiple steps and costly equipment. We report an integrated microfluidic diagnostic device capable of on-site quantitative nucleic acid detection directly from the blood without separate sample preparation steps. First, we prepatterned the amplification initiator [magnesium acetate (MgOAc)] on the chip to enable digital nucleic acid amplification. Second, a simplified sample preparation step is demonstrated, where the plasma is separated autonomously into 224 microwells (100 nl per well) without any hemolysis. Furthermore, self-powered microfluidic pumping without any external pumps, controllers, or power sources is accomplished by an integrated vacuum battery on the chip. This simple chip allows rapid quantitative digital nucleic acid detection directly from human blood samples (10 to 105 copies of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus DNA per microliter, ~30 min, via isothermal recombinase polymerase amplification). These autonomous, portable, lab-on-chip technologies provide promising foundations for future low-cost molecular diagnostic assays.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1501645
JournalScience Advances
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank M. Y. Huang for providing technical assistance and K. Feng for the computer animations. We thank P. Lum at the Biomolecular Nanotechnology Center for technical assistance. We also thank the BIOPOETS lab members for providing valuable feedback. The HIV primers for RPA were supplied by O. Piepenburg and N. Armes (TwistDx, U.K.). Funding: This work was funded by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency HR0011-12-2-0003 and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative OPP1028785.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved.


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