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Chicago, IL, United States

Kreutz J.E.,University of Chicago | Munson T.,University of Chicago | Huynh T.,University of Chicago | Shen F.,University of Chicago | And 5 more authors.
Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2011

This paper presents a protocol using theoretical methods and free software to design and analyze multivolume digital PCR (MV digital PCR) devices; the theory and software are also applicable to design and analysis of dilution series in digital PCR. MV digital PCR minimizes the total number of wells required for "digital" (single molecule) measurements while maintaining high dynamic range and high resolution. In some examples, multivolume designs with fewer than 200 total wells are predicted to provide dynamic range with 5-fold resolution similar to that of single-volume designs requiring 12 000 wells. Mathematical techniques were utilized and expanded to maximize the information obtained from each experiment and to quantify performance of devices and were experimentally validated using the SlipChip platform. MV digital PCR was demonstrated to perform reliably, and results from wells of different volumes agreed with one another. No artifacts due to different surface-to-volume ratios were observed, and single molecule amplification in volumes ranging from 1 to 125 nL was self-consistent. The device presented here was designed to meet the testing requirements for measuring clinically relevant levels of HIV viral load at the point-of-care (in plasma, <500 molecules/mL to >1 000 000 molecules/mL), and the predicted resolution and dynamic range was experimentally validated using a control sequence of DNA. This approach simplifies digital PCR experiments, saves space, and thus enables multiplexing using separate areas for each sample on one chip, and facilitates the development of new high-performance diagnostic tools for resource-limited applications. The theory and software presented here are general and are applicable to designing and analyzing other digital analytical platforms including digital immunoassays and digital bacterial analysis. It is not limited to SlipChip and could also be useful for the design of systems on platforms including valve-based and droplet-based platforms. In a separate publication by Shen et al. (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, DOI: 10.1021/ja2060116), this approach is used to design and test digital RT-PCR devices for quantifying RNA. © 2011 American Chemical Society. Source

SlipChip and California Institute of Technology | Date: 2013-04-24

The present invention relates to fluidic devices for compartmentalizing samples. In particular, the devices and related systems and methods allow for compartmentalization by using one or more first chambers connect by a first channel (e.g., where the cross-sectional dimension of the first channel is less than the cross-sectional dimension of at least one first chamber).

California Institute of Technology and SlipChip | Date: 2013-04-22

The present invention relates to fluidic devices for preparing, processing, storing, preserving, and/or analyzing samples. In particular, the devices and related systems and methods allow for preparing and/or analyzing samples (e.g., biospecimen samples) by using one or more of capture regions and/or automated analysis.

Begolo S.,California Institute of Technology | Zhukov D.V.,California Institute of Technology | Selck D.A.,California Institute of Technology | Li L.,SlipChip | Ismagilov R.F.,California Institute of Technology
Lab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology | Year: 2014

Equipment-free pumping is a challenging problem and an active area of research in microfluidics, with applications for both laboratory and limited-resource settings. This paper describes the pumping lid method, a strategy to achieve equipment-free pumping by controlled generation of pressure. Pressure was generated using portable, lightweight, and disposable parts that can be integrated with existing microfluidic devices to simplify workflow and eliminate the need for pumping equipment. The development of this method was enabled by multi-material 3D printing, which allows fast prototyping, including composite parts that combine materials with different mechanical properties (e.g. both rigid and elastic materials in the same part). The first type of pumping lid we describe was used to produce predictable positive or negative pressures via controlled compression or expansion of gases. A model was developed to describe the pressures and flow rates generated with this approach and it was validated experimentally. Pressures were pre-programmed by the geometry of the parts and could be tuned further even while the experiment was in progress. Using multiple lids or a composite lid with different inlets enabled several solutions to be pumped independently in a single device. The second type of pumping lid, which relied on vapor-liquid equilibrium to generate pressure, was designed, modeled, and experimentally characterized. The pumping lid method was validated by controlling flow in different types of microfluidic applications, including the production of droplets, control of laminar flow profiles, and loading of SlipChip devices. We believe that applying the pumping lid methodology to existing microfluidic devices will enhance their use as portable diagnostic tools in limited resource settings as well as accelerate adoption of microfluidics in laboratories. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2014. Source

Huynh T.,University of Chicago | Sun B.,California Institute of Technology | Li L.,University of Chicago | Li L.,SlipChip | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2013

In this article, we describe a nonlinear threshold chemistry based on enzymatic inhibition and demonstrate how it can be coupled with microfluidics to convert a chemical concentration (analog input) into patterns of ON or OFF reaction outcomes (chemical digital readout). Quantification of small changes in concentration is needed in a number of assays, such as that for cystatin C, where a 1.5-fold increase in concentration may indicate the presence of acute kidney injury or progression of chronic kidney disease. We developed an analog-to-digital chemical signal conversion that gives visual readout and applied it to an assay for cystatin C as a model target. The threshold chemistry is based on enzymatic inhibition and gives sharper responses with tighter inhibition. The chemistry described here uses acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and produces an unambiguous color change when the input is above a predetermined threshold concentration. An input gives a pattern of ON/OFF responses when subjected to a monotonic sequence of threshold concentrations, revealing the input concentration at the point of transition from OFF to ON outcomes. We demonstrated that this threshold chemistry can detect a 1.30-fold increase in concentration at 22 C and that it is robust to experimental fluctuations: it provided the same output despite changes in temperature (22-34 C) and readout time (10-fold range). We applied this threshold chemistry to diagnostics by coupling it with a traditional sandwich immunoassay for serum cystatin C. Because one quantitative measurement comprises several assays, each with its own threshold concentration, we used a microfluidic SlipChip device to process 12 assays in parallel, detecting a 1.5-fold increase (from 0.64 (49 nM) to 0.96 mg/L (74 nM)) of cystatin C in serum. We also demonstrated applicability to analysis of patient serum samples and the ability to image results using a cell phone camera. This work indicates that combining developments in nonlinear chemistries with microfluidics may lead to development of user-friendly diagnostic assays with simple readouts. © 2013 American Chemical Society. Source

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