Shaping up field-deployable nucleic acid testing using microfluidic paper-based analytical devices

  • Tianyu Dong
  • Guan A. Wang
  • Feng LiEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Young Investigators in (Bio-)Analytical Chemistry


Rapid, low-cost, and sensitive nucleic acid detection and quantification assays enabled by microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (μPADs) hold great promise for point-of-care disease diagnostics and field-based molecular tests. Through the capillary action in μPAD, flexible manipulation of nucleic acid samples can be achieved without the need for external pumps or power supplies, making it possible to fabricate highly integrated sample-to-answer devices that streamline the nucleic acid extraction, separation, concentration, amplification, and detection. To detect minute amounts of genetic materials from clinical and biological samples, it is also critical to develop sensitive signal readouts that generate physically detectable signals for in-device nucleic acid detection and/or quantification. In this review, we will focus on μPAD approaches for the facile manipulation of nucleic acids and emerging signal transduction strategies allowing sensitive and specific nucleic acid detection in μPAD.

Graphical abstract


Paper-based analytical device Microfluidics Nucleic acid testing Point-of-care testing Field-deployable assays 


Funding information

This study received a financial support from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Centres of Excellence, the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, and the Brock University Start-Up Fund.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Centre for BiotechnologyBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  2. 2.College of ChemistrySichuan UniversityChengduChina

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