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1.  Electrokinetic Stringency Control in Self-Assembled Monolayer-based Biosensors for Multiplex Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis 
Nanomedicine : nanotechnology, biology, and medicine  2013;10(1):10.1016/j.nano.2013.07.006.
Rapid detection of bacterial pathogens is critical toward judicious management of infectious diseases. Herein, we demonstrate an in situ electrokinetic stringency control approach for a self-assembled monolayer-based electrochemical biosensor toward urinary tract infection diagnosis. The in situ electrokinetic stringency control technique generates Joule heating induced temperature rise and electrothermal fluid motion directly on the sensor to improve its performance for detecting bacterial 16S rRNA, a phylogenetic biomarker. The dependence of the hybridization efficiency reveals that in situ electrokinetic stringency control is capable of discriminating single-base mismatches. With electrokinetic stringency control, the background noise due to the matrix effects of clinical urine samples can be reduced by 60%. The applicability of the system is demonstrated by multiplex detection of three uropathogenic clinical isolates with similar 16S rRNA sequences. The results demonstrate that electrokinetic stringency control can significantly improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the biosensor for multiplex urinary tract infection diagnosis.
doi:10.1016/j.nano.2013.07.006
PMCID: PMC3858494  PMID: 23891989
Urinary tract infection; Stringency control; Multiplex detection; Matrix effects; Self-assembled monolayers
2.  A Universal Electrode Approach for Automated Electrochemical Molecular Analyses 
Transforming microfluidics-based biosensing systems from laboratory research into clinical reality remains an elusive goal despite decades of intensive research. A fundamental obstacle for the development of fully automated microfluidic diagnostic systems is the lack of an effective strategy for combining pumping, sample preparation, and detection modules into an integrated biosensing platform. Herein, we report a universal electrode approach, which incorporates DC electrolytic pumping, AC electrokinetic sample preparation, and self-assembled monolayer based electrochemical sensing on a single microfluidic platform, to automate complicated molecular analysis procedures that will enable biosensing applications in non-traditional healthcare settings. Using the universal electrode approach, major microfluidic operations required in molecular analyses, such as pumping, mixing, washing, and sensing can be performed in a single platform. We demonstrate the universal electrode platform for detecting bacterial 16S rRNA, a phylogenetic marker, toward rapid diagnostics of urinary tract infection. Since only electronic interfaces are required to operate the platform, the universal electrode approach represents an effective system integration strategy to realize the potential of microfluidics in molecular diagnostics at the point of care.
doi:10.1109/JMEMS.2013.2253545
PMCID: PMC4028488  PMID: 24860248
System Integration; Electrochemical detection; Electrokinetics; 16S rRNA; Urinary Tract Infection
3.  Electrokinetic Focusing and Separation of Mammalian Cells in Conductive Biological Fluids 
The Analyst  2012;137(22):5215-5221.
Active manipulation of cells, such as trapping, focusing, and isolation, is essential for various bioanalytical applications. Herein, we report a hybrid electrokinetic technique for manipulating mammalian cells in physiological fluids. This technique applies a combination of negative dielectrophoretic force and hydrodynamic drag force induced by electrohydrodynamics, which is effective in conductive biological fluids. With a three-electrode configuration, the stable equilibrium positions of cells can be adjusted for separation and focusing applications. Cancer cells and white blood cells can be positioned and isolated into specific locations in the microchannel under both static and dynamic flow conditions. To investigate the sensitivity of the hybrid electrokinetic process, AC voltage, frequency, and bias dependences of the cell velocity were studied systematically. The applicability of the hybrid electrokinetic technique for manipulating cells in physiological samples is demonstrated by continuous focusing human breast adenocarcinoma spiked in urine, buffy coats, and processed blood samples with 98% capture efficiency.
doi:10.1039/c2an35707k
PMCID: PMC4086461  PMID: 22937529
4.  AC Electrokinetics Facilitated Biosensor Cassette for Rapid Pathogen Identification 
The Analyst  2013;138(13):3660-3666.
To develop a portable point-of-care system based on biosensors for common infectious diseases such as urinary tract infection, the sensing process needs to be implemented within an enclosed fluidic system. On chip sample preparation of clinical samples remains a significant obstacle to achieve robust sensor performance. Herein AC electrokinetics is applied in an electrochemical biosensor cassette to enhance molecular convection and hybridization efficiency though electrokinetic induced fluid motion and Joule heating induced temperature elevation. Using E. coli as an exemplary pathogen, we determined the optimal electrokinetic parameters for detecting bacterial 16S rRNA in the biosensor cassette based on the current output, signal-to-noise ratio, and limit of detection. In addition, a panel of six probe sets targeting common uropathogenic bacteria was demonstrated. The optimized parameters were also validated using patient-derived clinical urine samples. The effectiveness of electrokinetic for on chip sample preparation will facilitate the implementation of point-of-care diagnosis of urinary tract infection in the future.
doi:10.1039/c3an00259d
PMCID: PMC3709570  PMID: 23626988
5.  Hybrid electrokinetic manipulation in high-conductivity media† 
Lab on a chip  2011;11(10):1770-1775.
This study reports a hybrid electrokinetic technique for label-free manipulation of pathogenic bacteria in biological samples toward medical diagnostic applications. While most electrokinetic techniques only function in low-conductivity buffers, hybrid electrokinetics enables effective operation in high-conductivity samples, such as physiological fluids (~1 S m−1). The hybrid electrokinetic technique combines short-range electrophoresis and dielectrophoresis, and long-range AC electrothermal flow to improve its effectiveness. The major technical hurdle of electrode instability for manipulating high conductivity samples is tackled by using a Ti–Au–Ti sandwich electrode and a 3-parallel-electrode configuration is designed for continuous isolation of bacteria. The device operates directly with biological samples including urine and buffy coats. We show that pathogenic bacteria and biowarfare agents can be concentrated for over 3 orders of magnitude using hybrid electrokinetics.
doi:10.1039/c1lc20054b
PMCID: PMC4084846  PMID: 21487576
6.  In Situ Electrokinetic Enhancement for Self-Assembled-Monolayer-Based Electrochemical Biosensing 
Analytical chemistry  2012;84(6):2702-2707.
This study reports a multifunctional electrode approach which directly implements electrokinetic enhancement on a self-assembled-monolayer-based electro-chemical sensor for point-of-care diagnostics. Using urinary tract infections as a model system, we demonstrate that electrokinetic enhancement, which involves in situ stirring and heating, can enhance the sensitivity of the strain specific 16S rRNA hybridization assay for 1 order of magnitude and accelerate the time-limiting incubation step with a 6-fold reduction in the incubation time. Since the same electrode platform is used for both electrochemical signal enhancement and electrochemical sensing, the multifunctional electrode approach provides a highly effective strategy toward fully integrated lab-on-a-chip systems for various biomedical applications.
doi:10.1021/ac203245j
PMCID: PMC4069200  PMID: 22397486
7.  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.
doi:10.1016/j.jala.2010.05.004
PMCID: PMC3003926  PMID: 21180401
8.  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.
doi:10.1016/j.bios.2010.07.002
PMCID: PMC2946447  PMID: 20667707
Electrochemical biosensor; Amperometry; Urinary diagnostics; Urinary tract infections; Biomarkers
9.  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.
doi:10.1021/ac9022764
PMCID: PMC2821038  PMID: 20055494

Results 1-9 (9)