Point-of-care microfluidic devices for pathogen detection

Behzad Nasseri, Neda Soleimani, Navid Rabiee, Alireza Kalbasi, Mahdi Karimi, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

297 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid diagnosis of pathogens is crucial in the early stages of treatment of diseases where the choice of the correct drug can be critical. Although conventional cell culture-based techniques have been widely utilized in clinical applications, newly introduced optical-based, microfluidic chips are becoming attractive. The advantages of the novel methods compared to the conventional techniques comprise more rapid diagnosis, lower consumption of patient sample and valuable reagents, easy application, and high reproducibility in the detection of pathogens. The miniaturized channels used in microfluidic systems simulate interactions between cells and reagents in microchannel structures, and evaluate the interactions between biological moieties to enable diagnosis of microorganisms. The overarching goal of this review is to provide a summary of the development of microfluidic biochips and to comprehensively discuss different applications of microfluidic biochips in the detection of pathogens. New types of microfluidic systems and novel techniques for viral pathogen detection (e.g. HIV, HVB, ZIKV) are covered. Next generation techniques relying on high sensitivity, specificity, lower consumption of precious reagents, suggest that rapid generation of results can be achieved via optical based detection of bacterial cells. The introduction of smartphones to replace microscope based observation has substantially improved cell detection, and allows facile data processing and transfer for presentation purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-128
Number of pages17
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers of infection
  • Infectious microorganisms
  • Lab-on-a-chip diagnosis
  • Low resource environments
  • Microfluidics-based assays
  • Micropattern soft lithography
  • Point-of-care devices
  • Smart-phone based sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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