A Portable Droplet Magnetofluidic Device for Point-of-Care Detection of Multidrug-Resistant Candida auris

Pei Wei Lee, Marissa Totten, Liben Chen, Fan En Chen, Alexander Y. Trick, Kushagra Shah, Hoan Thanh Ngo, Mei Jin, Kuangwen Hsieh, Sean X. Zhang, Tza Huei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Candida auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant fungal pathogen that can cause severe and deadly infections. To date, C. auris has spurred outbreaks in healthcare settings in thirty-three countries across five continents. To control and potentially prevent its spread, there is an urgent need for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics that can rapidly screen patients, close patient contacts, and surveil environmental sources. Droplet magnetofluidics (DM), which leverages nucleic acid-binding magnetic beads for realizing POC-amenable nucleic acid detection platforms, offers a promising solution. Herein, we report the first DM device—coined POC.auris—for POC detection of C. auris. As part of POC.auris, we have incorporated a handheld cell lysis module that lyses C. auris cells with 2 min hands-on time. Subsequently, within the palm-sized and automated DM device, C. auris and control DNA are magnetically extracted and purified by a motorized magnetic arm and finally amplified via a duplex real-time quantitative PCR assay by a miniaturized rapid PCR module and a miniaturized fluorescence detector—all in ≤30 min. For demonstration, we use POC.auris to detect C. auris isolates from 3 major clades, with no cross reactivity against other Candida species and a limit of detection of ∼300 colony forming units per mL. Taken together, POC.auris presents a potentially useful tool for combating C. auris.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number826694
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
StatePublished - Mar 24 2022


  • Candida auris
  • droplet magnetofluidics
  • fungal pathogen
  • lysis
  • miniaturized rapid PCR
  • multidrug resistance
  • point-of-care diagnostics
  • sample preparation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Histology


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