Point-of-care technology (POCT) diagnostic systems are tools that can rapidly lead to in vitro diagnostic (IVD) results by non-trained personnel at a patient site in varieties of locations such as the field, the home, the ambulance, or the hospital. To this day, diagnostic tests are typically operated at laboratories equipped with bench-top analyzers and managed by trained personnel. That is to say, there have been a few days to wait before patients receive their testing results. Consequently, there’s a growing need to demonstrate diagnostic results at the point-of-care for prompt treatment of acute diseases and for homecare diagnostics. To break the limited capability of conventional POCT systems, Creative Biolabs has investigated several novel technologies to meet the special requirements of POCT systems, particularly microfluidic technology. Here, our talented engineers provide one-stop microfluidic integrated solutions for POCT to help customers accomplish multiple point-of-care experiments.
Rigorous demands are made in order to satisfy the needs for POCT diagnostic system as below:
In that sense, microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip technologies have been notably spotlighted and widely explored due to their innate advantages, such as low sample and reagent volume, high capability of integration, and quick reaction from small sizes. In addition, POCT tools can detect specific biomarkers from cells, proteins, nucleic acids, metabolites, etc. Diverse classes of biomarkers require diverse diagnostic principles, assays, and operating programs. The specific diagnostic principles or assays adopted for microfluidics and lab chip-based POCT have been studied in terms of their requirements and limitations for the specific target analyte.
Fig.1 Schematic illustration showing a desired POCT diagnostic system having the 'sample-to-answer' capability. (Jung, 2015)
POCT is necessary to represent a rapid method for a prompt on-site diagnosis and treatment. Quick analysis time and high sensitivity are the most important characteristic of current POCT diagnostic systems. Microfluidic lab-on-a-chip techniques have been regarded as one of the promising schemes since they can miniaturize and integrate the functional modules used in the laboratory into a small size chip. At Creative Biolabs, our multidisciplinary teams focus on the recent advances in POCT with an emphasis on commercially available POCT diagnostic systems with laboratory quality using microfluidic technologies. As working principles and desired functional modules are dependant on targeted analytes, we’d like to provide customized services and categorize the applications of POCT diagnostic systems based on the analyte types such as nucleic acids, proteins, and cells.
Fig.2 Immunoassay POCT systems with microfluidics and lab chips. (Jung, 2015)
Nucleic acids exist in all living organisms and function in encoding and expressing genetic information via their specific sequence. Thus, detecting nucleic acids offers high specificity and sensitivity in diagnosing certain diseases. But nucleic acid-based detections need dedicated devices, expensive reagents, extensively trained technicians, and a long process time owing to the complex analytical procedures. Here, we find that microfluidic chips may be a potential means, which can integrate all multiple and complex functional modules in miniaturized modalities, and provide microfluidic technical services in a single chamber for nucleic acid POCT diagnosis.
Proteins have already been one of the significant categories of POCT biomarkers because they usually reveal the presence or status of particular diseases that generally need to be diagnosed. Remarkably, our most popular working principle in detecting targeted proteins is the immunoassay, utilizing antigen-antibody binding responses that result in analysis with high specificity and sensitivity, due to a unique recognition between antigen and antibody. We’re able to assist clients in designing useful microfluidic chips for specific biomarkers, which indicate corresponding illnesses on site.
Recent advances in POCT technology brought to life a suite of next-generation microfluidic and nanofluidic devices with the potential of faster, cheaper, and more accurate point-of-care assays. With dedicated devices and rich experience in the microfluidic field, Creative Biolabs has built up integrated platforms to accomplish POCT testing based on optimized microfluidic chips. The miniaturization technology largely affects not only handheld facilities but also compact comprehensive benchtop analyzers. If you’ like to know more about our one-stop microfluidic solutions, please directly contact us or send us an e-mail with specific requests.
For Research Use Only. Not For Clinical Use.