How do we perform DNA based tests in the field? The problem is those fiddly little PCR tubes, the accurate dispensing of multiple reagents, DNA purification and the need for lab equipment, like centrifuges, PCR machines, pipettes, fridges, freezers, and safety cabinets. Delivering diagnostic tests outside the lab is a most challenging scenario, especially for remote clinics and in resource limited situations, where there is no immediate access to diagnostic laboratory services.
How can this be achieved? This is where low-cost matrix-based microfluidic systems can be highly beneficial. Using microfluidics, a patient’s sample can be deposited into a small card-like device, which contains onboard sample DNA processing, freeze dried pathogen test chemistry, self-wicking multichannel fluid paths and color-based result results output. Such microfluidic cards may screen for different pathogens simultaneously. The hardware can be a small, portable, battery powered device. Ideally the test results are obtained within 10-20 minutes, enabling an immediate therapeutic response to the detected pathogen. This is all
possible with microfluidics and constitutes our DNAiTECH vision. Most POC systems are designed for first world markets. We aspire to be providers of low-cost POC systems because the access to diagnostics and medicine for health is a basic human right.