Integrated Microfluidic Platform for Oral Diagnostics

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While many point-of-care (POC) diagnostic methods have been developed for blood-borne analytes, development of saliva-based POC diagnostics is in its infancy. We have developed a portable microfluidic device for detection of potential biomarkers of periodontal disease in saliva. The device performs rapid microfluidic chip-based immunoassays (<3–10 min) with low sample volume requirements (10 μL) and appreciable sensitivity (nM–pM). Our microfluidic method facilitates hands-free saliva analysis by integrating sample pretreatment (filtering, enrichment, mixing) with electrophoretic immunoassays to quickly measure analyte concentrations in minimally pretreated saliva samples. The microfluidic chip has been integrated with miniaturized electronics, optical elements, such as diode lasers, fluid-handling components, and data acquisition software to develop a portable, self-contained device. The device and methods are being tested by detecting potential biomarkers in saliva samples from patients diagnosed with periodontal disease. Our microchip-based analysis can readily be extended to detection of biomarkers of other diseases, both oral and systemic, in saliva and other oral fluids.

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