Lab-on-a-Chip Methods for Point-of-Care Measurements of Salivary Biomarkers of Periodontitis

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Salivary secretions contain a variety of molecules that reflect important pathophysiological activities. Quantitative changes of specific salivary biomarkers could have significance in the diagnosis and management of both oral and systemic diseases. Modern point-of-care technologies with enhanced detection capabilities are needed to implement a significant advancement in salivary diagnostics. One such promising technology is the recently described lab-on-a-chip (LOC) assay system, in which assays are performed on chemically sensitized beads populated into etched silicon wafers with embedded fluid handling and optical detection capabilities. Using this LOC system, complex assays can be performed with small sample volumes, short analysis times, and markedly reduced reagent costs. This report describes the use of LOC methodologies to assess the levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), C-reactive protein (CRP), and matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) in whole saliva, and the potential use of these biomarkers for diagnosing and categorizing the severity and extent of periodontitis. This study demonstrates that the results achieved by the LOC approach are in agreement with those acquired with standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), with significant IL-1β and MMP-8 elevations in whole saliva of periodontitis patients. Furthermore, because of the superior detection capacities associated with the LOC approach, unlike those with ELISA, significant differences in CRP levels between periodontitis patients and normal subjects are observed. Finally, principal component analysis (PCA) is performed to yield an efficient method to discriminate between periodontally healthy and unhealthy patients, thus increasing the diagnostic value of these biomarkers for periodontitis when examined with the integrated LOC sensor system.

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