Detection Challenges in Clinical Diagnostics
CHAPTER 2: Integrated Chemistries for Analytical Simplification and Point of Care Testing
Published:23 Sep 2013
With the convergence of immobilisation chemistries for complex biomolecules and reaction sequences with microfabrication and lamination technologies it is now possible to integrate bench‐level laboratory assays into miniaturised devices. Main‐frame laboratories analysers have retained soluble reagent system capable of high throughput assays by the incorporation of sophisticated fluidics, but the “miniaturised device” approval has seen considerable innovation and diversification in recent years for point of care (POC) diagnosis. It has empowered both patients and clinical staff to undertake timely sampling and analysis with the minimum of specimen manipulation and separation. Sample movement and separation through lateral flow and microfluidics have been a key first step with sample presentation in the right form to a detector or binding surface. There is no reaction product as outcome. A smart adaptation of label‐based assays is necessary and whilst the principles of this may not be new, their design, and means of miniaturised integration are definitely engineering advances. We have come a long way from the original dry reagent concept for extralaboratory testing, but with now more complex chemistries and the prospects of array technologies, POC testing is set to become a more prominent feature of the diagnostic scene.