This work presents a novel handheld, manually-actuated microfluidic prototype designed for on-site colorimetric detection of infectious pathogens in drinking water. We have also developed a custom drop-casting protocol we use to pre-load the entirely 3D printed device, fabricated via ultra-high resolution additive manufacturing technology, with colorimetric enzymatic reagents and bacteria-specific nutrients, which we use to experimentally detect Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria in model drinking water, as well as to determine a limit of detection of 1e6 cfu/mL of E. coli in 6 hours. Our proposed microfluidic platform will enable entirely on-site water quality testing, eliminating the need for off-site, lab-based water sample analysis, thus significantly increasing analytical throughput. Furthermore, we have developed a design methodology for engineers to customize the number of desired on-chip pathogen detection chambers, enabling multiplexed detection of multiple pathogens.
Project end date: 07/18/19