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Textile and Paper Microfluidic Platforms for Electroanalytical Nucleic Acid Testing

Time: Mon 2021-10-18 14.00

Location: Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Fibre and Polymer Science

Doctoral student: Shirin Khaliliazar , Fiberteknologi, KTH

Opponent: Associate Professor Firat Güder, Imperial College London

Supervisor: Universitetslektor Mahiar Hamedi, Fiberteknologi

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Rapid and accurate near-patient diagnostic tests outside well-equipped laboratories are essential in the fight against outbreaks of infectious diseases, especially when these can turn into pandemics. As severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the latest but probably not the last pandemic of the 21st century. Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) identify pathogens at the molecular level by targeting specific gene sequences. NAATs are currently the gold standard of molecular diagnostics, given their reliability, sensitivity, and specificity. In addition, NAATs can provide quantitative results with a short turnaround time compared to conventional immunoassays or culturing methods. However, most NAATs necessitate centralized laboratories and trained health professionals and, to a large extend, fail to be point-of-care(POC).The biosensing field was inspired by the micro electronics revolution in the1980s, which led to the emergence of the micro-total analysis systems (μTAS)concept. μTAS was envisioned to miniaturized laboratory-based tests in single microfluidic devices. The combination of POC NAATs with μTAS can offer rapid, sensitive, and specific diagnostic tools of great importance in tackling diseases.In this thesis, we have utilized paper and textile materials as a platform for developing μTAS. These materials possess many features necessary for advanced μTAS, such as the ability to transport liquids, store reagents and embed electronic functions, making them ideal for integrating affordable, portable, and easy to manufacture μTAS for NAATs.We have specially developed NAATs with paper-based and thread-based electrochemical readout to provide quantitative responses with high sensitivity, specificity, and the possibility to connect to portable digital electronics. This work paves the way for robust sample-to-answer digital POC NAATs.