P3SENS consortium makes headway in the development of microfluidic sample delivery technology

(Nanowerk News) A 3.6M€ project cofunded by the 7th EU Framework Program is developing a novel biosensor platform for Point of Care Diagnosis of Cerebrovascular Disease
The P3SENS consortium has been formed to develop an immunoassay detection device suitable for use in emergency-medicine, whether diagnosis is required in an ambulance, emergency room or as part of a rapid near-patient laboratory test in a hospital environment. The requirement for such a technology to be standalone, without the infrastructure associated with a laboratory, dictates that a number of key processes are completed automatically within the system. The ability of a biosensor platform to manipulate liquid samples and deliver any biomarkers which may be present to the surface of the sensor in a manner which ensures accurate and reliable detection is critical.
In the P3SENS project the aim is to design, develop and realize robust microfluidic systems which are applicable for fast and cost-effective sample transport and still containing some simple sample preparation functions, such as mixing or dilution. Preliminary microfluidic structures have been designed taking in to consideration the proposed layout of the sensor chip and the material requirements. The microfluidics are to contain six parallel individually addressable channels with the integrated functions of washing and mixing by applying different mixer components.
The key issue of the integrability and final applicability of the developed structure is an appropriate polymer material selection, which will have a critical impact on the requirement for leakage-free bonding. The polymer materials which are most suitable for realizing simple microfluidic systems have been identified as Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and the epoxy-based negative photoresist SU-8. These materials are relatively low-cost and can be easily structured by the combination of microlithography and polymer technology. The fabrication process has been established for both PDMS and SU-8 polymer materials, and test structures are currently being validated.
The completion of these significant milestones, showing the development of new microfluidic structures, is rapidly progressing the P3SENS consortium towards its goal to produce a biosensor platform and demonstrate applicability to the Point of Care diagnosis of Stroke. The consortium continues its multidisciplinary approach with parallel activities driving forward development in polymer materials, photonic crystal fabrication, optical and fluidic systems, and biomedical proteomics.
Source: P3SENS Consortium