Integrated DNA and RNA extraction and purification on an automated microfluidic cassette from bacterial and viral pathogens causing community-acquired lower respiratory tract infections
In this paper, we describe the development of an automated sample preparation procedure for etiological agents of community-acquired lower respiratory tract infections (CA-LRTI). The consecutive assay steps, including sample re-suspension, pre-treatment, lysis, nucleic acid purification, and concentration, were integrated into a microfluidic lab-on-a-chip (LOC) cassette that is operated hands-free by a demonstrator setup, providing fluidic and valve actuation. The performance of the assay was evaluated on viral and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial broth cultures previously sampled using a nasopharyngeal swab. Sample preparation on the microfluidic cassette resulted in higher or similar concentrations of pure bacterial DNA or viral RNA compared to manual benchtop experiments. The miniaturization and integration of the complete sample preparation procedure, to extract purified nucleic acids from real samples of CA-LRTI pathogens to, and above, lab quality and efficiency, represent important steps towards its application in a point-of-care test (POCT) for rapid diagnosis of CA-LRTI.
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