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Development of microLIPS: a microfluidic assay for rapid serum antibody detection

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • M. Chandrangsu
  • P.D. Burbelo
  • P.D. Smith
  • N.Y. Morgan


There is considerable interest in the development of rapid, point-of-care antibody detection for the diagnosis of infectious and auto-immune diseases. We present work on the development of a self-contained microfluidic format for the Luciferase Immunoprecipitation Systems (LIPS) assay. Whereas the majority of immunoassays for antigen-specific antibodies employ either bacteria- or yeast-expressed proteins and require the use of secondary antibodies, the LIPS technique uses a fusion protein comprised of a Renilla luciferase reporter and the antigen of interest produced via mammalian cell culture, ensuring the addition of mammalian post-translational modifications. Patient serum is mixed with the fusion protein and passed over immobilized Protein A/G; after washing, the only remaining luciferase-tagged antigens are those retained by specific antibodies. These can be quantitatively measured using chemiluminescence upon the introduction of coelenterazine. The assay has been successfully employed for a wide variety of diseases in a microwell format and has been proven effective for rapid HSV-2 diagnosis in a microfluidic format. We report on recent progress towards operation of the LIPS assay in resource-limited settings through the use of power-free fluid control and custom battery-powered electronics for signal detection.

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