Inexpensive Microfluidic Paper Based Analytical Devices : Hype or Reality

 

Came across this excellent review on Microfluidic Paper Based Analytical Devices (mPADs) that aim to provide ASSURED diagnostic devices to developing countries. ASSURED stand for Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User-friendly, Rapid and robust, Equipment free and Deliverable to end-users. I am all for creating cheap diagnostic devices and really liked when I saw that “– a simple μPAD typically can be fabricated for <$0.01 (for the cost of the paper and patterning)”. A quick search on the web and I found FDA approved lateral flow immunoassay kits that can test anywhere from one to ten analyte in a single sample available for few dollars. Most of these tests are qualitative but will pass the ASSURED test.

I may be missing something but I am still not clear how PADs will be dramatically different from lateral flow immunoassays in terms of performance and cost-if you have the answer I want to know! I am however looking forward to first commercial kit sooner rather than later.

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