Diagnosing an ischemic stroke accurately and quickly is essential for appropriate treatment and results in more effective management of the stroke, leading to better patient outcomes. Specifically, the determination of ischemic versus hemorrhagic stroke leads to critically different treatment paths, which would be potentially fatal if administered incorrectly. Currently, ischemic strokes are diagnosed through a series of tests, including a physical examination, CT scans, and a panel of blood tests to exclude hemorrhagic stroke or other similarly presenting conditions, in order to administer tPA (the main treatment) within the three hour window. The discovery of biomarkers, molecules which are upregulated during the onset of a specific condition or disease, can be used to diagnose patients when integrated with an appropriate platform. The objective of this thesis was to further develop a paper-based microfluidic device for the rapid detection of ischemic stroke using biomarkers that can be detected in the blood. This device uses HRP-based enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technology on a cellulose paper surface to yield a sensitive (11.8 pM) assay targeting S100B, a protein released by glial cells in the brain during stroke. Wax printing allows for creation of precise hydrophilic pathways in which sample fluid can travel within the 3D microfluidic device to react with a variety of proteins and reagents. This technology has the potential to be implemented globally as a point-of-care device for use in developing countries without consistent or reliable access to advanced diagnostic technology. The device is cheap to produce, portable, and results can be determined quickly and qualitatively analyzed using cell phone images, making it an accessible technology for patients around the globe.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.