At the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, researchers have developed a device for rapid simultaneous detection of up to 16 different biomarkers. The device doesn’t require plasma separation, so an accompanying centrifuge is not needed. It does require a small and inexpensive microscope to read the results. The device itself is battery powered and small enough to be carried into the field.
A sample of only .005 milliliters is needed to run the various tests within the microfluidic device, which go through both an analog and digital detection systems, a major achievement of this project. The digital component is best suited for low concentrations of the analyte being looked for, while the analog part is for higher concentrations when digital signal saturation occurs.
The researchers successfully tested the device on very small samples of the anti-Ebola antibodies, demonstrating its effectiveness for diagnostic applications.