Title

Global Assay: Using Microfluidics to Test for Anemia

Lead Author Major

Bioengineering

Lead Author Status

Senior

Second Author Major

Bioengineering

Second Author Status

Senior

Third Author Major

Bioengineering

Third Author Status

5th year Senior

Format

SOECS Senior Project Demonstration

Faculty Mentor Name

Huihui Xu

Faculty Mentor Email

hxu@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Bioengineering

Additional Faculty Mentor Name

Shelly Gulati

Additional Faculty Mentor Email

sgulati@pacific.edu

Additional Faculty Mentor Department

Bioengineering

Abstract/Artist Statement

We present a novel approach to blood testing for iron deficiency. Current methods for determining iron levels are both time and resource-intensive. We seek to develop a method to test for anemia, which is a debilitating condition that affects a staggering 30% of the global population. In this project, a microfluidic device serves as a platform for a simple chemical assay involving an indicator for the Fe3+. A simple chemical reaction between potassium hexacyanoferrate and ferric nitrate indicates the presence or absence of iron via the presence of Prussian Blue dye. We first showed successful color change and distinguishment in a microfluidic environment. We then proceeded to use bovine blood plasma as an iron source, as it has similar iron levels to human plasma. The expression of color in the reaction within the device indicated that iron was present in the plasma, while testing with pure water in the device led to the absence of color. By setting a threshold level, which represents what is considered healthy for humans of a certain demographic (ie., women ages 18-24), the reaction on the chip will only proceed if the iron level in the sample exceeds the threshold limit. This will be the limiting point to identify if a person has deficiency in iron or not. The advantages of this design are potentially numerous; among them the low cost and energy-efficiency of production, ease of use, and speed of results. By utilizing microfluidics as a platform for a chemical assay, we present a novel approach to medical testing that can eventually serve populations in undeveloped or resource-poor parts of the globe.

Location

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Start Date

6-5-2017 2:30 PM

End Date

6-5-2017 4:00 PM

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May 6th, 2:30 PM May 6th, 4:00 PM

Global Assay: Using Microfluidics to Test for Anemia

School of Engineering & Computer Science

We present a novel approach to blood testing for iron deficiency. Current methods for determining iron levels are both time and resource-intensive. We seek to develop a method to test for anemia, which is a debilitating condition that affects a staggering 30% of the global population. In this project, a microfluidic device serves as a platform for a simple chemical assay involving an indicator for the Fe3+. A simple chemical reaction between potassium hexacyanoferrate and ferric nitrate indicates the presence or absence of iron via the presence of Prussian Blue dye. We first showed successful color change and distinguishment in a microfluidic environment. We then proceeded to use bovine blood plasma as an iron source, as it has similar iron levels to human plasma. The expression of color in the reaction within the device indicated that iron was present in the plasma, while testing with pure water in the device led to the absence of color. By setting a threshold level, which represents what is considered healthy for humans of a certain demographic (ie., women ages 18-24), the reaction on the chip will only proceed if the iron level in the sample exceeds the threshold limit. This will be the limiting point to identify if a person has deficiency in iron or not. The advantages of this design are potentially numerous; among them the low cost and energy-efficiency of production, ease of use, and speed of results. By utilizing microfluidics as a platform for a chemical assay, we present a novel approach to medical testing that can eventually serve populations in undeveloped or resource-poor parts of the globe.