This study reports a new diagnostic assay for the rapid detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by combing nucleic acid extraction and isothermal amplification of target nucleic acids in a magnetic bead-based microfluidic system. By using specific probe-conjugated magnetic beads, the target deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of the MRSA can be specifically recognized and hybridized onto the surface of the magnetic beads which are then mixed with clinical sample lysates. This is followed by purifying and concentrating the target DNA from the clinical sample lysates by applying a magnetic field. Nucleic acid amplification of the target genes can then be performed by the use of a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) process via the incorporation of a built-in micro temperature control module, followed by analyzing the optical density (OD) of the LAMP amplicons using a spectrophotometer. Significantly, experimental results show that the limit of detection (LOD) for MRSA in the clinical samples is approximately 10 fg μL−1 by performing this diagnostic assay in the magnetic bead-based microfluidic system. In addition, the entire diagnostic protocol, from bio-sample pre-treatment to optical detection, can be automatically completed within 60 min. Consequently, this miniature diagnostic assay may become a powerful tool for the rapid purification and detection of MRSA and a potential point-of-care platform for detection of other types of infections.
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