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  1. Bacterial meningitis, an infection of the membranes (meninges) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding the brain and spinal cord, is one of the major causes of death and disability worldwide. Higher case-fatality rates and short survival times have been reported in developing countries. Hence, a quick, straightforward, and low-cost approach is in great demand for the diagnosis of meningitis. In this research, a microfluidic fully paper-based analytical device (μFPAD) integrated with loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and ssDNA-functionalized graphene oxide (GO) nano-biosensors was developed for the first time for a simple, rapid, low-cost, and quantitative detection of the main meningitis-causing bacteria, Neisseria meningitidis ( N. meningitidis ). The results can be successfully read within 1 hour with the limit of detection (LOD) of 6 DNA copies per detection zone. This paper device also offers versatile functions by providing a qualitative diagnostic analysis ( i.e. , a yes or no answer), confirmatory testing, and quantitative analysis. These features make the presented μFPAD capable of a simple, highly sensitive, and specific diagnosis of N. meningitis . Furthermore, this microfluidic approach has great potential in the rapid detection of a wide variety of different other pathogens in low-resource settings.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 22, 2023
  2. Hybrid microfluidic systems that are composed of multiple different types of substrates have been recognized as a versatile and superior platform, which can draw benefits from different substrates while avoiding their limitations. This review article introduces the recent innovations of different types of low-cost hybrid microfluidic devices, particularly focusing on cost-effective polymer- and paper-based hybrid microfluidic devices. In this article, the fabrication of these hybrid microfluidic devices is briefly described and summarized. We then highlight various hybrid microfluidic systems, including polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based, thermoplastic-based, paper/polymer hybrid systems, as well as other emerging hybrid systems (such as thread-based). The special benefits of using these hybrid systems have been summarized accordingly. A broad range of biological and biomedical applications using these hybrid microfluidic devices are discussed in detail, including nucleic acid analysis, protein analysis, cellular analysis, 3D cell culture, organ-on-a-chip, and tissue engineering. The perspective trends of hybrid microfluidic systems involving the improvement of fabrication techniques and broader applications are also discussed at the end of the review.