Finger-powered agglutination lab chip with CMOS image sensing for rapid point-of-care diagnosis applications†
Agglutination is an antigen–antibody reaction with visible expression of aggregation of the antigens and their corresponding antibodies. Applications extend to the identification of acute bacterial infection, hemagglutination, such as blood grouping, and diagnostic immunology. Our finger-powered agglutination lab chip with external CMOS image sensing was developed to support a platform for inexpensive, rapid point-of-care (POC) testing applications related to agglutination effects. In this paper, blood grouping (ABO and Rh grouping) was utilized to demonstrate the function of our finger-powered agglutination lab chip with CMOS image sensing. Blood antibodies were preloaded into the antibody reaction chamber in the lab chip. The blood sample was pushed through the antibody reaction chamber using finger-powered pressure actuation to initiate a hemagglutination reaction to identify the blood type at the on-chip detection area using our homemade CMOS image sensing mini-system. Finger-powered actuation without the need for external electrical pumping is excellent for low-cost POC applications, but the pumping liquid volume per finger push is hard to control. In our finger-powered agglutination lab chip with CMOS image sensing, we minimized the effects of different finger push depths and achieved robust performance for the test results with different push depths. The driving sample volume per finger push is about 0.79 mm3. For different chips and different pushes, the driven sample volume per finger push was observed to vary in the range of 0.64 to 1.18 mm3. The red blood cells were separated from the plasma on-chip after the whole blood sample was finger pumped and before the red blood cells reached the antibody chamber via an embedded plasma-separation membrane. Our homemade CMOS image mini-system robustly read and identified the agglutination results on our agglutination lab chip.