Capillary-driven microfluidics for mobile health: Opportunities and challenges
Point-of-care diagnostics now have considerable impact on screening diseases in populations in both developed and developing countries. Often, such tests take the form of lateral flow immunoassays, which are easy to use but have low precision and limited interactivity with mobile phones. Here, we describe concepts for implementing immunoassays on capillary-driven microfluidic chips using a library of functional microfluidic elements, receptors on self-assembled microbeads, anti-counterfeiting security codes, and electrically-actuated gates for stop-and-go control of flow at specific locations in the chips. Finally, many of these functions can be addressed directly from a smartphone using a small, low cost chip peripheral.