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An integrated microfluidic platform to perform uninterrupted SELEX cycles to screen affinity reagents specific to cardiovascular biomarkers

Sinha, Anirban, Gopinathan, Priya, Chung, Yi-Da, Lin, Hsin-Ying, Li, Kuang-Hsien, Ma, Hsi-Pin, Huang, Po-Chiun, Shiesh, Shu-Chu, Lee, Gwo-Bin
Biosensors & bioelectronics 2018 v.122 pp. 104-112
automation, biomarkers, biosensors, cardiovascular diseases, cost effectiveness, fibrinogen, gene amplification, human resources, humans, mixing, natriuretic peptides, oligonucleotides, screening, systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment, troponin I
As cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are responsible for millions of deaths annually, there is a need for rapid and sensitive diagnosis of CVD at earlier stages. Aptamers generated by systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) processes have been shown to be superior to conventional antibody-based cardiac biomarker detection. However, SELEX is a complicated, lengthy procedure requiring multiple rounds of extraction/amplification and well-trained personnel. To circumvent such issue, we designed an automated, miniaturized SELEX platform for the screening of aptamers towards three protein biomarkers associated with CVDs: N-terminal pro-peptide of B-type natriuretic peptide, human cardiac troponin I, and fibrinogen. The developed microfluidic platform was equipped with microfluidic devices capable of sample transport and mixing along with an on-chip nucleic acid amplification module such that the entire screening process (5 rounds of selection in 8 h.) could be performed consecutively on a single chip while consuming only 35 µL of reagents in each cycle. This system may therefore serve as a promising, sensitive, cost-effective platform for the selection of aptamers specific for CVD biomarkers.