User-friendly and robust paper-based device for DNA diagnostic of infectious diseases in resource-poor settings

Core, Giulia (2024) User-friendly and robust paper-based device for DNA diagnostic of infectious diseases in resource-poor settings. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Communicable diseases, such as malaria, viral and bacteria infections, which are still widely spread in low- and middle-income countries, cause high morbidity and mortality rates. Elimination of infectious disease reservoirs requires rapid, and highly sensitive molecular diagnostic platforms that can be effectively used outside laboratory settings. The integration of nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) in paper-based microfluidic devices has represented a remarkable turning-point in the context of point-of-care (POC) diagnostics, as they combine NAATs’ high sensitivity and specificity with the advantages of low-cost, easy-to-use paper-based microfluidics. Various configurations of low-cost single-use POC diagnostic devices have been developed. However, none of those thoroughly fulfil the ASSURED criteria for effective POC testing provided by the World Health Organisation in 2003 (Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User-friendly, Rapid and robust, Equipment-free and Deliverable to end-users). Even if current tests can successfully detect very low concentrations of infectious organisms, the degradation of essential reagents restricts their practical use in challenging field conditions where refrigerators, external equipment and trained personnel might not be easily accessible. Increasing attention has been paid to achieving “reassUREd” aspects in the recent years, but further investigations are still required to face the real challenges that infield testing entails.

My PhD research aims at addressing some of the major limitations of paper-based POC NAATs in terms of user-friendliness and robustness in resource-poor settings. First of all, I have developed a new paper-based procedure to extract nucleic acid (NA) material from bacteria present in large volumes which reduces user intervention. Secondly, I have stored reagents in a ready-to-use solid format and “on-board” to incorporate NAATs inside a POC diagnostic platform for easy shipment and long-term storage. Moreover, a simple device that combines sample pretreatment and NA amplification in one chamber was investigated. Such a device will incredibly facilitate access to low-cost, accessible, and accurate diagnosis, thus delivering all the ASSURED aspects.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Funder's Name: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Supervisor's Name: Reboud, Professor Julien and Cooper, Professor Jonathan
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84414
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2024 15:24
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2024 15:24
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84414
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