Using liquid crystals as a readout system in urinary albumin assays†
Detecting human serum albumin (HSA) in urine samples is a standard procedure for the diagnosis of kidney problems and the prognosis of patients with chronic kidney diseases (CKDs). In this study, we developed a HSA assay by incorporating a thin layer of liquid crystals (LCs) as a readout system such that the presence of HSA in urine samples can be detected as optical signals. In combination with dilution protocols, this assay can be used to estimate the concentration range of HSA simply by counting the number of bright spots. Our results show that the assay can detect HSA at concentrations as low as 15 μg mL−1. It is anticipated that this assay can provide a faster and simpler alternative for the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with kidney diseases.