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1.  Electrothermal Fluid Manipulation of High-Conductivity Samples for Laboratory Automation Applications 
JALA (Charlottesville, Va.)  2010;15(6):426-432.
Electrothermal flow is a promising technique in microfluidic manipulation toward laboratory automation applications, such as clinical diagnostics and high throughput drug screening. Despite the potential of electrothermal flow in biomedical applications, relative little is known about electrothermal manipulation of highly conductive samples, such as physiological fluids and buffer solutions. In this study, the characteristics and challenges of electrothermal manipulation of fluid samples with different conductivities were investigated systematically. Electrothermal flow was shown to create fluid motion for samples with a wide range of conductivity when the driving frequency was above 100 kHz. For samples with low conductivities (below 1 S/m), the characteristics of the electrothermal fluid motions were in quantitative agreement with the theory. For samples with high conductivities (above 1 S/m), the fluid motion appeared to deviate from the model as a result of potential electrochemical reactions and other electrothermal effects. These effects should be taken into consideration for electrothermal manipulation of biological samples with high conductivities. This study will provide insights in designing microfluidic devices for electrokinetic manipulation of biological samples toward laboratory automation applications in the future.
PMCID: PMC3003926  PMID: 21180401
2.  Electrochemical Immunosensor Detection of Urinary Lactoferrin in Clinical Samples for Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis 
Biosensors & bioelectronics  2010;26(2):649-654.
Urine is the most abundant and easily accessible of all body fluids and provides an ideal route for non-invasive diagnosis of human diseases, particularly of the urinary tract. Electrochemical biosensors are well suited for urinary diagnostics due to their excellent sensitivity, low cost, and ability to detect a wide variety of target molecules including nucleic acids and protein biomarkers. We report the development of an electrochemical immunosensor for direct detection of the urinary tract infection (UTI) biomarker lactoferrin from infected clinical samples. An electrochemical biosensor array with alkanethiolate self-assembled monolayer (SAM) was used. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to characterize the mixed SAM, consisted of 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid and 6-mercapto-1-hexanol. A sandwich amperometric immunoassay was developed for detection of lactoferrin from urine, with a detection limit of 145 pg/ml. We validated lactoferrin as a biomarker of pyuria (presence of white blood cells in urine), an important hallmark of UTI, in 111 patient-derived urine samples. Finally, we demonstrated multiplex detection of urinary pathogens and lactoferrin through simultaneous detection of bacterial nucleic acid (16S rRNA) and host immune-response protein (lactoferrin) on a single sensor array. Our results represent first integrated sensor platform capable of quantitative pathogen identification and measurement of host immune response, potentially providing clinical diagnosis that is not only more expeditious but more informative than the current standard.
PMCID: PMC2946447  PMID: 20667707
Electrochemical biosensor; Amperometry; Urinary diagnostics; Urinary tract infections; Biomarkers
3.  Correction: Statistical Metamodeling for Revealing Synergistic Antimicrobial Interactions 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):10.1371/annotation/d598d976-2604-429b-a76f-14aeca628a8e.
PMCID: PMC3128627
4.  Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Using High Surface-to-Volume Ratio Microchannels 
Analytical chemistry  2010;82(3):1012.
This study reports the use of microfluidics, which intrinsically has a large surface-to-volume ratio, toward rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing at the point of care. By observing the growth of uropathogenic E. coli in gas permeable polymeric microchannels with different dimensions, we demonstrate that the large surface-to-volume ratio of microfluidic systems facilitates rapid growth of bacteria. For microchannels with 250 micrometer or less in depth, the effective oxygenation can sustain the growth of E. coli to over 109 cfu/ml without external agitation or oxygenation, which eliminates the requirement of bulky instrumentation and facilitates rapid bacterial growth for antimicrobial susceptibility testing at the point of care. The applicability of microfluidic rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing is demonstrated in culture media and in urine with clinical bacterial isolates that have different antimicrobial resistance profiles. The antimicrobial resistance pattern can be determined as rapidly as 2 hours compared to days in standard clinical procedures facilitating diagnostics at the point of care.
PMCID: PMC2821038  PMID: 20055494
5.  A Microfluidic Cartridge System for Multiplexed Clinical Analysis 
JALA (Charlottesville, Va.)  2009;14(6):407-412.
Cartridge-based microfluidics is a promising technology for clinical diagnostics. By miniaturizing the fluid-handling processes required for genomic and proteomic analyses, reagent and specimen volume is minimized along with the size of the system. We demonstrate an automated microfluidic system capable of performing six multiplexed genomic and proteomic analyses simultaneously, by means of an integrated electrochemical sensor and embedded controls.
PMCID: PMC2808045  PMID: 20161584
microfluidics; electrochemical sensor; multiplexed assay; quantitative; molecular analysis; point of care; clinical diagnostics
6.  Statistical Metamodeling for Revealing Synergistic Antimicrobial Interactions 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(11):e15472.
Many bacterial pathogens are becoming drug resistant faster than we can develop new antimicrobials. To address this threat in public health, a metamodel antimicrobial cocktail optimization (MACO) scheme is demonstrated for rapid screening of potent antibiotic cocktails using uropathogenic clinical isolates as model systems. With the MACO scheme, only 18 parallel trials were required to determine a potent antimicrobial cocktail out of hundreds of possible combinations. In particular, trimethoprim and gentamicin were identified to work synergistically for inhibiting the bacterial growth. Sensitivity analysis indicated gentamicin functions as a synergist for trimethoprim, and reduces its minimum inhibitory concentration for 40-fold. Validation study also confirmed that the trimethoprim-gentamicin synergistic cocktail effectively inhibited the growths of multiple strains of uropathogenic clinical isolates. With its effectiveness and simplicity, the MACO scheme possesses the potential to serve as a generic platform for identifying synergistic antimicrobial cocktails toward management of bacterial infection in the future.
PMCID: PMC2988685  PMID: 21124958
7.  Optimal Probe Length and Target Location for Electrochemical Detection of Selected Uropathogens at Ambient Temperature▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;46(8):2707-2716.
We have previously demonstrated the clinical validity of the rapid detection of uropathogens by use of a DNA biosensor. This assay involves the hybridization of capture and detector probe pairs with bacterial 16S rRNA target molecules to form a DNA-RNA sandwich on the sensor surface. Horseradish peroxidase-conjugated antibody binds to the detector probe to enzymatically amplify the hybridization signal. These previous studies involved the hybridization of bacterial 16S rRNA target sequences with 35-mer oligonucleotide probe pairs at 65°C. Achievement of point-of-care technology will be greatly facilitated by ambient-temperature detection. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of probe length and target location on signal intensity using hybridization temperatures of 20 to 25°C. Signal intensity was found to vary dramatically with hybridization location in the species-specific bulge region of 16S rRNA helix 18. Probe pairs of as short as 10 nucleotides in length were able to produce a significant electrochemical signal, and signal intensity was correlated with probe length for probes of 10 to 20 nucleotides in length. The sensitivity of the Escherichia coli-specific 15-mer probe pairs was approximately 330 cells. These shorter probes allowed differentiation of Klebsiella pneumoniae from Proteus mirabilis 16S rRNA target sequences differing by a single nucleotide. A panel of oligonucleotide probe pairs ranging from 11 to 23 nucleotides in length was able to distinguish among seven groups of urinary tract pathogens. In conclusion, we have developed short oligonucleotide probe pairs for the species-specific identification of uropathogens at ambient temperature by use of an electrochemical sensor.
PMCID: PMC2519458  PMID: 18562584
8.  Electrochemical Molecular Analysis Without Nucleic Acid Amplification 
Methods (San Diego, Calif.)  2005;37(1):73-83.
Electrochemical biosensors have revolutionized glucose monitoring but have not yet fulfilled their promise of a low cost, direct detection replacement for genetic amplification tests such as PCR [K. Kerman, M. Kobayashi, E. Tamiya, Recent trends in electro-chemical DNA biosensor technology, Meas. Sci. Technol. 15 (2004) R1-R11; A. Chaubey, B.D. Malhotra, Mediated biosensors. Biosens. Bioelectron. 17 (6-7) (2002) 441-456]. It has been anticipated that the integration of nanoscale chemical structures such as self-assembled monolayers with electrochemical biosensors would increase sensitivity by decreasing inherent system noise. We have designed a novel biosensing approach incorporating such integration and achieved rapid, ultra-low concentration sensitivities without target amplification. Raw samples are mixed with lysis buffer to allow hybridization of nucleic acid targets with anchor and signal probes before immobilizing a signaling enzyme proximate to the biosensor surface. A bias potential is subsequently applied and the secondary byproduct of a cyclic peroxidase reaction measured. Further studies have demonstrated the application of our approach in protein, clinical chemistry, and ionic assays.
PMCID: PMC1564062  PMID: 16213156
Electrochemical detection; Cyclic enzymatic reaction; Bionanotechnology; Genetic assay; Immunoassay; Simultaneous multi-channel detection
9.  Use of Electrochemical DNA Biosensors for Rapid Molecular Identification of Uropathogens in Clinical Urine Specimens 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2006;44(2):561-570.
We describe the first species-specific detection of bacterial pathogens in human clinical fluid samples using a microfabricated electrochemical sensor array. Each of the 16 sensors in the array consisted of three single-layer gold electrodes—working, reference, and auxiliary. Each of the working electrodes contained one representative from a library of capture probes, each specific for a clinically relevant bacterial urinary pathogen. The library included probes for Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterocococcus spp., and the Klebsiella-Enterobacter group. A bacterial 16S rRNA target derived from single-step bacterial lysis was hybridized both to the biotin-modified capture probe on the sensor surface and to a second, fluorescein-modified detector probe. Detection of the target-probe hybrids was achieved through binding of a horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-conjugated anti-fluorescein antibody to the detector probe. Amperometric measurement of the catalyzed HRP reaction was obtained at a fixed potential of −200 mV between the working and reference electrodes. Species-specific detection of as few as 2,600 uropathogenic bacteria in culture, inoculated urine, and clinical urine samples was achieved within 45 min from the beginning of sample processing. In a feasibility study of this amperometric detection system using blinded clinical urine specimens, the sensor array had 100% sensitivity for direct detection of gram-negative bacteria without nucleic acid purification or amplification. Identification was demonstrated for 98% of gram-negative bacteria for which species-specific probes were available. When combined with a microfluidics-based sample preparation module, the integrated system could serve as a point-of-care device for rapid diagnosis of urinary tract infections.
PMCID: PMC1392664  PMID: 16455913

Results 1-9 (9)