Rapid point of care sensor for infectious disease discrimination

SEM of an array of pyramid wells on a silicon master. 

October 2011

Together with Biodetectors Pty Ltd, MCN is working on the rapid point of care sensor for infectious disease discrimination. This technology is useful in the fields of genetic screening, diagnostics, drug delivery and protein analysis

Despite their popularity, microarrays (an ordered array of microscopic elements on a planar substrate) often suffer from slow reaction kinetics and are expensive to fabricate. Bead-based technologies are an attractive alternative to classical microarrays due to the high surface area of the beads, which enables the immobilisation of large numbers of probe molecules leading to increased kinetics and improved signal/noise ratios. This technology allows for fast, specific, high-throughput analysis of target molecules.

MCN’s contribution in this project includes device design, prototype fabrication and optical assay verification. The proposed technology of anisotropically etched pyramidal wells on silicon substrate, and its subsequent use as a template for the PDMS fluorescent bead arrays, is a simple, versatile and inexpensive method for the fabrication of high-density bead arrays. Using the micro/nano fabrication platforms available at the MCN, arrays of pyramidal wells have been patterned and fabricated to allow fluorescent bead molecules to be assembled in them. The image above shows an SEM image of an array of fabricated pyramid wells with a width of 6µm  on a silicon master. This work will help demonstrate the potential to create high density arrays with better readout capabilities and superior signal to noise ratio than those achievable with classical microarrays.