Developing 3D-Printed Magnetic Digital Microfluidic Platform for the Diagnostics of Carbapenemase Resistant Infections

Problem Statement

Infection caused carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) is often multi-drug resistant and associated with high morbidity and mortality rate. Current susceptibility testing takes 24-48 hours to perform and for actionable results to be obtained. This is still a significant delay, with data showing that each hour of delay of appropriate antimicrobial therapy in septic patients is associated with a ~7% increase in mortality. A novel solution for rapid and simplified detection of CPE is highly desired to provide quick guide the management of infectious disease to ensure appropriate antibiotics are chosen for treatment.

Objective

The objective of this proposal is to develop a 3D-printed digital microfluidics -based platform for high-throughput detection of carbapenamases based on phenotypical biochemical assays. Using digital microfluidics, the proposed platform streamlines the phenotypical biochemical assay required for the susceptibility test and reduces the reagent consumption for reduced cost.

The device consists of four main components: the base plate, the glass cover slip, the droplet manipulator and the guiding pieces.
The device consists of four main components: the base plate, the glass cover slip, the droplet manipulator and the guiding pieces.

Key Benefits/Outcomes

  • New design has enabled high testing throughput and cost savings:
    • Good accuracy
    • Reduced turnaround time per sample by 60%-80%
    • Reduced reagent consumption and cost by 90%
    • Reduced human dependency with automated control
  • PCT patent has been filed for the design of the Magnetic Digital Microfluidic Platform (Singapore Patent Application No. 10201908072Y, PCT/SG2020/050510)
  • The team has received $250k gap funding to develop high-fidelity prototype for potential commercialization and will potentially spin-off a company to fabricate the device and provide testing service.

 

Collaborator

Contacts

Mr. Marc Lee marc.lee@ntuitive.sg