Proof of Concept Electrical and Colorimetric Detection of Bacteria and Bacteriophages using Molecularly Imprinted Polymers in Microfluidic Sensors
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the whole world by the spread of a new respiratory virus (SARS-CoV-2), posing a significant burden on the society and the health system. Rapid and selective detection of pathogens, like SARS-CoV-2 virus, in clinical samples, food, water and the environment at large is crucial in diagnosis and breakout prevention. Conventional lab-based biodetection methods lack sensitivity and are expensive, time-consuming, and non-specific in comparison to the newly developed portable biosensors. Our long-term aim is to design cost-effective and simple microfluidic sensors based on stable polymeric biorecognition materials called Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIP). MIP-coated fluorescent microparticles and conductive microelectrodes will be integrated into two microfluidic devices and tested for bacteria and bacteriophage capturing. We will perform colorimetric and electrical transduction of captured targets after binding to MIP-coated microparticles and microelectrodes, respectively, in these devices. The outcome of this project will help our partner company, SIXW, to accelerate the commercialization process of these technologies in 2022.