Microparticle and cell counting with digital microfluidic compact disc using standard CD drive
Lab-on-chip medical diagnostics in a global health setting would greatly benefit from highly portable, cost effective and readily available devices. Digital compact disc (CD) and the corresponding detection device—CD drives—for personal computers are extremely affordable and distributable worldwide, therefore they can be immediately used in global health applications if empowered with molecular and cellular biosensing functions. Here we present a novel digital microfluidic CD device derived from conventional music or data CD and demonstrate its preliminary application of counting polystyrene microparticles and living cells in minute-volume fluidic samples. No other detection instruments except for a standard CD drive in a personal computer is used for reading and decoding the quantitative liquid sample information from the digital microfluidic CD. The results presented herein are the first step towards creating a truly portable, low-cost and ubiquitously accessible device—health diagnostic compact disc (HDCD)—for biosensing and health diagnostics, especially in remote or impoverished settings with limited medical infrastructure and healthcare workers.