All-polymer biosensor for label-free point of care diagnostics

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis – Annual report year: 2013Research


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Personalised medicine and diagnostics is a rapidly growing field of research and general interest. Important tools for individual patient care are so called point-of-care devices. These typically simple and inexpensive instruments allow the untrained user to perform simple diagnostic analyses without the need for a specialised laboratory. Other fields of application are for example health care projects in developing countries where access to modern high-throughput facilities is often impossible or sectors not related to the medical field, like environmental monitoring or food safety. The aim of this PhD project was to develop a modular platform based on electrochemical impedimetric sensing. This device can easily be modified by changing the biological receptors and therefore offers a broad range of possible applications. To keep the costs and the environmental footprint low the entire biosensor was designed in plastic; featuring a microfluidic channel and an electrode system fabricated from conductive polymers. Aptamers were used as recognition elements providing a more stable alternative to antibodies for easier handling and a longer shelf life. Moreover, aptamers have a much wider range of possible target molecules than antibodies. The biosensor platform was successfully adapted to different tasks and tested against three very different analytes: DNA, antibiotics and virus particles. Throughout the experiments the sensors showed high sensitivity and were able to detect very low analyte concentrations in both buffered solutions, milk and saliva samples.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages121
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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