Biosens Bioelectron 2020 May 18;155:112107. Epub 2020 Feb 18.
School of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 1954 Huashan Road, Shanghai, 200030, China. Electronic address:
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide, and persistent HPV infection can cause warts and even cancer. Nucleic acid analysis of HPV viral DNA can be very informative for the diagnosis and monitoring of HPV. Digital nucleic acid analysis, such as digital PCR and digital isothermal amplification, can provide sensitive detection and precise quantification of target nucleic acids, and its utility has been demonstrated in many biological research and medical diagnostic applications. A variety of methods have been developed for the generation of a large number of individual reaction partitions, a key requirement for digital nucleic acid analysis. However, an easily assembled and operated device for robust droplet formation without preprocessing devices, auxiliary instrumentation or control systems is still highly desired. In this paper, we present a self-partitioning SlipChip (sp-SlipChip) microfluidic device for the slip-induced generation of droplets to perform digital loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) for the detection and quantification of HPV DNA. In contrast to traditional SlipChip methods, which require the precise alignment of microfeatures, this sp-SlipChip utilized a design of "chain-of-pearls" continuous microfluidic channel that is independent of the overlapping of microfeatures on different plates to establish the fluidic path for reagent loading. Initiated by a simple slipping step, the aqueous solution can robustly self-partition into individual droplets by capillary pressure-driven flow. This advantage makes the sp-SlipChip very appealing for the point-of-care quantitative analysis of viral load. As a proof of concept, we performed digital LAMP on a sp-SlipChip to quantify human papillomaviruses (HPVs) 16 and 18 and tested this method with fifteen anonymous clinical samples.