By 2012, point of care (POC) testing will constitute roughly one third of the $59 billion in vitro diagnostics market. The ability to carry out multiplexed genetic testing and wireless connectivity are emerging as key attributes of future POC devices. In this study, an inexpensive, user-friendly and compact device (termed Gene-Z) is presented for rapid quantitative detection of multiple genetic markers with high sensitivity and specificity. Using a disposable valve-less polymer microfluidic chip containing four arrays of 15 reaction wells each with dehydrated primers for isothermal amplification, the Gene-Z enables simultaneous analysis of four samples, each for multiple genetic markers in parallel, requiring only a single pipetting step per sample for dispensing. To drastically reduce the cost and size of the real-time detector necessary for quantification, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) was performed with a high concentration of SYTO-81, a non-inhibiting fluorescent DNA binding dye. The Gene-Z is operated using an iPod Touch, which also receives data and carries out automated analysis and reporting via a WiFi interface. This study presents data pertaining to performance of the device including sensitivity and reproducibility using genomic DNA from Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Overall, the Gene-Z represents a significant step toward truly inexpensive and compact tools for POC genetic testing.
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