Panel Discussion featuring: Dorothy Skaf and Raffaella Ocone

Novel consumables for
high-throughput screening

that capitalize on electrical forces and leverage existing laboratory tools

Vincent T. Remcho

Department of Chemistry, Oregon State University,
Corvallis, OR  97331 USA

Abstract

Plate
readers and electrophoresis are to biology and biochemistry what gas
chromatographs are to petrochemistry: reliable,
indispensable high-throughput sources of critical data.  Plate readers have permeated the high
throughput screening market just as inkjet printers permeated the printing
market; both are high precision tools that handle small volumes of fluids, both
have modest acquisition cost, and both are heavily dependent on
consumables.  Likewise, the quality
of their output is dependent on the quality of the consumables.

We
have explored a space that is common to plate readers, inkjet printers and
bioassays by designing, building and deploying microfluidic paper-based
analytical devices (mPADS) using a materials palette that leverages the
best qualities and capabilities of each of the materials and methods
selected.  The materials include microfibrous media, polycaprolactone, and semiconductor nanocrystals, and the methods include electrospinning, thermal
inkjet deposition, lamination, paper electrophoresis, and plate reader-based
optical spectroscopy. These selections enable high-throughput screening and
analysis with minimal reagent handling and at low cost.  Minimization of reagent handling leads
to increased precision and accuracy, contributing to data quality and
diagnostic utility.

Hybrid
microfluidic devices with open and wicking channels were modeled, designed,
prepared and applied for colorimetric and fluorescent diagnostic assays for
clinical biomarkers such as glucose, bilirubin, and creatinine as well as targets
of forensic analysis such as cyanide and heavy metal ions, in environmental and
biological samples.  Assay results
were analyzed using commercial UV-Vis and fluorescence plate readers for
detection using custom-built devices of a form factor readily accommodated in unmodified
standard plate readers.