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Prakash R.,Provincial Laboratory for Public Health of Alberta | Pabbaraju K.,Provincial Laboratory for Public Health of Alberta | Wong S.,Provincial Laboratory for Public Health of Alberta | Tellier R.,Provincial Laboratory for Public Health of Alberta | And 2 more authors.
Biomedical Microdevices | Year: 2016

Nucleic acid based diagnostic techniques are routinely used for the detection of infectious agents. Most of these assays rely on nucleic acid extraction platforms for the extraction and purification of nucleic acids and a separate real-time PCR platform for quantitative nucleic acid amplification tests (NATs). Several microfluidic lab on chip (LOC) technologies have been developed, where mechanical and chemical methods are used for the extraction and purification of nucleic acids. Microfluidic technologies have also been effectively utilized for chip based real-time PCR assays. However, there are few examples of microfluidic systems which have successfully integrated these two key processes. In this study, we have implemented an electro-actuation based LOC micro-device that leverages multi-frequency actuation of samples and reagents droplets for chip based nucleic acid extraction and real-time, reverse transcription (RT) PCR (qRT-PCR) amplification from clinical samples. Our prototype micro-device combines chemical lysis with electric field assisted isolation of nucleic acid in a four channel parallel processing scheme. Furthermore, a four channel parallel qRT-PCR amplification and detection assay is integrated to deliver the sample-to-detection NAT chip. The NAT chip combines dielectrophoresis and electrostatic/electrowetting actuation methods with resistive micro-heaters and temperature sensors to perform chip based integrated NATs. The two chip modules have been validated using different panels of clinical samples and their performance compared with standard platforms. This study has established that our integrated NAT chip system has a sensitivity and specificity comparable to that of the standard platforms while providing up to 10 fold reduction in sample/reagent volumes. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Prakash R.,University of Calgary | Pabbaraju K.,Provincial Laboratory for Public Health of Alberta | Wong S.,Provincial Laboratory for Public Health of Alberta | Wong A.,Provincial Laboratory for Public Health of Alberta | And 3 more authors.
Micromachines | Year: 2015

Quantitative, reverse transcription, polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) is facilitated by leveraging droplet microfluidic (DMF) system, which due to its precision dispensing and sample handling capabilities at microliter and lower volumes has emerged as a popular method for miniaturization of the PCR platform. This work substantially improves and extends the functional capabilities of our previously demonstrated single qRT-PCR micro-chip, which utilized a combination of electrostatic and electrowetting droplet actuation. In the reported work we illustrate a spatially multiplexed micro-device that is capable of conducting up to eight parallel, real-time PCR reactions per usage, with adjustable control on the PCR thermal cycling parameters (both process time and temperature set-points). This micro-device has been utilized to detect and quantify the presence of two clinically relevant respiratory viruses, Influenza A and Influenza B, in human samples (nasopharyngeal swabs, throat swabs). The device performed accurate detection and quantification of the two respiratory viruses, over several orders of RNA copy counts, in unknown (blind) panels of extracted patient samples with acceptably high PCR efficiency (>94%). The multi-stage qRT-PCR assays on eight panel patient samples were accomplished within 35-40 min, with a detection limit for the target Influenza virusRNAs estimated to be less than 10 RNA copies per reaction. © 2014 by the authors.

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