Management of curable sexually-transmitted infections (STI) such as Chlamydia can be revolutionized by highly sensitive nucleic acid testing that is deployable at the point-of-care (POC). Here we report the development of a mobile nucleic acid amplification testing (mobiNAAT) platform utilizing a mobile phone and droplet magnetofluidics to deliver NAAT in a portable and accessible format. By using magnetic particles as a mobile substrate for nucleic acid capture and transport, fluid handling is reduced to particle translocation on a simple magnetofluidic cartridge assembled with reagents for nucleic acid purification and amplification. A mobile phone user interface operating in tandem with a portable Bluetooth-enabled cartridge-processing unit facilitates process integration. We tested 30 potentially Chlamydia trachomatis (CT)-infected patients in a hospital emergency department and confirmed that mobiNAAT showed 100% concordance with laboratory-based NAAT. Concurrent evaluation by a nontechnical study coordinator who received brief training via an embedded mobile app module demonstrated ease of use and reproducibility of the platform. This work demonstrates the potential of mobile nucleic acid testing in bridging the diagnostic gap between centralized laboratories and hospital emergency departments.
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