Summer Undergraduate Research Mentored Experience

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Dr. Xiujun "James" Li

Department of Chemistry

3D paper-based  microfluidic lab-on-a-chip devices for low-cost disease diagnosis

Preferred major field of study or minimum required skills

No specific majors or skills required

Scholarly significance/intellectual merit

Foodborne and infectious diseases from microorganisms become a serious public health concern throughout the world. Therefore, pathogen detection in plant, animal, food, and infectious diseases attracts significant interest. A great variety of pathogen detection has benefited from DNA testing using microarray. However, it usually requires expensive instruments and cumbersome procedures for DNA probe immobilization. Therefore, the goal of this project to develop a simple low-cost 3D paper-based microfluidic biochip integrated with DNA testing techniques for infectious disease diagnosis, especially in resource-poor settings.

Research question(s)

Specifically our research will address the following questions:

  1. How to integrate DNA amplification on the chip?
  2. How to minimize DNA no-specific binding on the paper substrate?
  3. Will our paper-based microfluidic lab-on-a-chip biochips allow for sensitive pathogen detection in resource-poor settings?

Methods/techniques/instruments to be learned/utilized

The microfluidic lab-on-a-chip technique (also called micro total analysis system (µTAS)), a contemporary multidisciplinary platform developed in the 1990s, offers a unique opportunity for various biomedical applications and bioanalysis methods, e.g. DNA amplification.