Hand-powered centrifugal microfluidic platform inspired by the spinning top for sample-to-answer diagnostics of nucleic acids†
Point-of-care (POC), sample-to-answer and electricity-free nucleic acid diagnostic tools are vital for health care and disease control in resource-limited settings where centralized medical facilities or even electric power may remain unreliable. Inspired by one of the oldest recognizable toys, the spinning top, here we report a fully hand-powered centrifugal microfluidic platform for the diagnostics of pathogenic bacteria. Assay procedures such as zeolite-based purification of nucleic acids, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and visual detection of fluorescence signals are integrated into a single microfluidic disc. A simple pull-out operation of the top rack of the customized centrifuge initiates high-speed rotation of the disc, resulting in efficient actuation and mixing of preloaded sample/reagent fluids. This microfluidic platform enables the simultaneous detection of six kinds of pathogenic bacteria within a small disc in an electricity-free manner, showing great promise in sample-to-answer nucleic acid detection in remote settings.