Development of point-of-care testing sensors for biomarker detection

Xuena Zhu, Florida International University


Point-of-care testing (POCT) is defined as medical testing at or near the site of patient care and has become a critical component of the diagnostic industry. POCT has many advantages over tests in centralized laboratories including small reagent volumes, small size, rapid turnaround time, cost-effectiveness, low power consumption and functional integration of multiple devices. Paper-based POCT sensors are a new alternative technology for fabricating simple, low-cost, portable and disposable analytical devices for clinical diagnosis. The focus of this dissertation was to develop simple, rapid and low cost paper-based POCT sensors with high sensitivity and portability for disease biomarker detection. Lateral flow strips (LFS) were used as the basic platform as it provides several key advantages such as simplicity, fast response time, on site and cost-effectiveness, and it can be used to detect specific substances including small molecules, large proteins and even whole pathogens, in a sample by immunological reactions. Earlier designs of paper strips lacked the quantitative information of the analyte concentration and could only provide single analyte detection at a time. In this study, a series of modifications were made to upgrade the platform to compensate for these limitations. First, we developed a gold nanoparticle based LFS for qualitative colorimetrical detection of bladder cancer related biomarkers in standard solutions and in urine samples. Second, by incorporating an image processing program “ImageJ”, a semi-quantitative LFS platform was established. The capability of the strip was evaluated by testing a small DNA oxidative damage biomarker in urine and cell culture models. Third, we combined the electrochemical method and colorimetrical method for quantitative biomarker detection. Finally, we integrated a commercialized blood glucose meter to quantitatively detection of two non-glucose biomarkers by converting their signals to that of glucose. The upgraded sensor could provide a noninvasive, rapid, visual, quantitative and convenient detection platform for various disease biomarkers. In addition, this platform does not require expensive equipments or trained personnel, deeming it suitable for use as a simple, economical and portable field kit for on-site biomarker monitoring in a variety of clinical settings.

Subject Area

Biomedical engineering

Recommended Citation

Zhu, Xuena, "Development of point-of-care testing sensors for biomarker detection" (2015). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI10002914.