Diflusel Nanofluidic electro-concentration
A nanofluidic system designed to replace ELISA assays
This project aims to use new effects recently discovered at the nanoscale to develop a universal device to selectively preconcentrate any molecules of interest by a factor of 1000 in just a few minutes. This new technology appears to be vastly more efficient than current ELISA immuno-assays.
An immunoassay is a biochemical test that detects and quantifies a particular analyte in a sample based on its ability to act as an antigen. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) rely on the innate capacity of an antibody to bind to the unique structure of a molecule.
The goal of the Diflusel project is to design and study a novel immunoassay device based on a new method of selective electro-preconcentration with fluidic chips bearing a nanochannel.
Academic research and published results have already demonstrated that preconcentration regimes could be controlled with the introduction of a nanochannel in fluidic chips. However, the location of the preconcentration strongly depends on the mobility of the analyte under the electric field. To obtain selectivity, we propose in this project a novel preconcentration methodology that uses additional hydrodynamic pressure to perfectly monitor the competition between both electrophoretic and electro-osmotic flows. This new electro-preconcentration method enables an extremely precise adjustment of the location of the different pre-concentrated analytes. Selectivity is reached due to the fact that the preconcentration and separation of the analytes are obtained in one single step.
Since these micro-nanofluidic devices offer a fast preconcentration time of around one minute, this new methodology is a real breakthrough compared to conventional ELISA immunoassays.
Our very recent experimental results confirm that this additional pressure greatly improves the preconcentration rate. The purpose of the DIFLUSEL project will be to demonstrate that the limit of detection (LOD) can be 100 times lower than the LOD of conventional immuasssays. Thus pathogenic analytes at very low concentrations in the femtomolar regime should be detected based on this new methodology. This project will surely have important practical applications for both defense and civil applications such as medical diagnostics.
This project is currently ongoing through a partnership between ELVESYS and an academic group specializing in nanofluidics (LPN CNRS).
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