Biosensors: A Handy Kit

IME researchers have developed a silicon-based microfluidic system that can be deployed as a portable, point-of-care diagnostic tool for fast and accurate screening of infectious diseases. The system consists of a microfluidic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) module and a silicon nanowire (SiNW) – based detection module. The proposed system can detect 20 fg/�L of H1N1 virus in 10 �L sample - 50% less sample volume than conventional PCR-based lab tests. Unlike existing test kits, the multiplexing feature of the proposed system gives the test differentiating power to tell apart H1N1 virus from other strains of influenza A virus, thereby reducing the likelihood of false negative results. The proposed system is potentially more cost-friendly to produce as complex optical components and alignment are not required.