South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
HUGO, Suzanne; LAND, Kevin; MADOU, Marc and KIDO, Horacio. A centrifugal microfluidic platform for point-of-care diagnostic applications. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2014, vol.110, n.1-2, pp. 1-7. ISSN 1996-7489.
Microfluidic systems enable precise control over tiny volumes of fluid in a compact and low-cost form, thus providing the ideal platform on which to develop point-of-care diagnostic solutions. Centrifugal microfluidic systems, also referred to as lab-on-a-disc or lab-on-a-CD systems, provide a particularly attractive solution for the implementation of microfluidic point-of-care diagnostic solutions as a result of their simple and compact instrumentation, as well as their functional diversity. Here we detail the implementation of a centrifugal microfluidic platform - the first of its kind in South Africa - as a foundation for the development of point-of-care diagnostic applications for which both the need and impact is great. The centrifugal microfluidic platform consists of three main components: a microfluidic disc device similar in size and shape to a CD, a system for controlling fluid flow on the device, and a system for recording the results obtained. These components have been successfully implemented and tested. Preliminary test results show that microfluidic functions such as pumping and valving of fluids can be successfully achieved, as well as the generation of monodisperse microfluidic droplets, providing a complete centrifugal microfluidic platform and the building blocks on which to develop a variety of applications, including point-of-care diagnostics. The lab-on-a-disc platform has the potential to provide new diagnostic solutions at the point-of-need in health- and industry-related areas. This paves the way for providing resource limited areas with services such as improved, decentralised health-care access or water-quality monitoring, and reduced diagnosis times at a low cost.
Keywords : microfluidics; centrifugal microfluidics; lab-on-a-disc; point-of-care; diagnostics.