A surface topography assisted droplet manipulation platform for biomarker detection and pathogen identification

Yi Zhang, Seungkyung Park, Kelvin Liu, Jennifer Tsuan, Samuel Yang, Tza Huei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


This paper reports a droplet microfluidic, sample-to-answer platform for the detection of disease biomarkers and infectious pathogens using crude biosamples. The platform exploited the dual functionality of silica superparamagnetic particles (SSP) for solid phase extraction of DNA and magnetic actuation. This enabled the integration of sample preparation and genetic analysis within discrete droplets, including the steps of cell lysis, DNA binding, washing, elution, amplification and detection. The microfluidic device was self contained, with all reagents stored in droplets, thereby eliminating the need for fluidic coupling to external reagent reservoirs. The device incorporated unique surface topographic features to assist droplet manipulation. Pairs of micro-elevations were created to form slits that facilitated efficient splitting of SSP from droplets. In addition, a compact sample handling stage, which integrated the magnet manipulator, the droplet microfluidic device and a Peltier thermal cycler, was built for convenient droplet manipulation and real-time detection. The feasibility of the platform was demonstrated by analysing ovarian cancer biomarker Rsf-1 and detecting Escherichia coli with real time polymerase chain reaction and real time helicase dependent amplification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-406
Number of pages9
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 7 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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