A novel point-of-care diagnostic prototype system for the simultaneous electrochemiluminescent sensing of multiple traumatic brain injury biomarkers†
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are typically acquired when a sudden violent event causes damage to the brain tissue. A high percentage (70–85%) of all TBI patients are suffering from mild TBI (mTBI), which is often difficult to detect and diagnose with standard imaging tools (MRI, CT scan) due to the absence of significant lesions and specific symptoms. Recent studies suggest that a screening test based on the measurement of a protein biomarker panel directly from a patient's blood can facilitate mTBI diagnosis. Herein, we report a novel prototype system designed as a precursor of a future hand-held point-of-care (POC) diagnostic device for the simultaneous multi-biomarker sensing, employing a microarray-type spatially resolved electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (SR-ECLIA). The small tabletop prototype consists of a screen-printed electrode compartment to conduct multi-analyte ECL sandwich assays, a potentiostat module and a light collection module, all integrated into a compact 3D-printed housing (18.2 × 16.5 × 5.0 cm), as well as an sCMOS detector. Based on this design concept, further miniaturization, system integration, performance optimization and clinical evaluation shall pave the way towards the development of a portable instrument for use at the site of accident and healthcare. To demonstrate the system's feasibility, current performance and efficiency, the simultaneous detection of three mTBI biomarkers (GFAP, h-FABP, S100β) in 50% serum was achieved in the upper pg mL−1 range. The proposed device is amenable to the detection of other biomarker panels and thus could open new medical diagnostic avenues for sensitive multi-analyte measurements with low-volume biological sample requirements.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Sensors in a Digital World