We introduce a low-cost pipette tip-based ELISA platform “ELISA in a Tip” as a next generation assay tool with lower cost, better sensitivity, shorter time, low sample and reagent volumes than traditional ELISA. Our platform could serve as a simple microfluidic adaptor that encourages to blend microfluidic advancement, multiplexing and smartphone integration with widely practiced gold standard ELISA without need for major overhaul of current infrastructure in hospitals and testing laboratories.
Pipette-tip adapters represent the first engineering advancement in decades-old well established diagnostic technique "ELISA." Tips were produced using a desktop 3D printer and were designed to fit most commercially available bench-top pipettes. Unlike ELISA which require extensive training and specialized technicians, pipette-tip ELISA users needs to know basic pipetting techniques. In addition, washing procedures, dispensing reagents and samples in pipette-tip ELISA does not require bulky, expensive and sophisticated equipment usually required in traditional ELISA.
Although tips were produced using 3D printers, mass production would be even much easier at a fraction of the cost of producing 96 well plates used in traditional ELISA. the cost of running assay using Pipette-tip ELISA is 75% less than that required for conventional ELISA due to the reduction of amounts of reagents used which include expensive antibodies,, enzymes, color reagents and valuable samples. Pipette-tip ELISA does not only require minimal operator training, but also offer ability to be integrated with smartphone assisted data acquisition and analysis making it a suitable tool for telemedicine diagnostics.
With all these advantages over conventional ELISA, pipette-tip ELISA still holds the sensitivity and applicability of conventional ELISA. Pipette-tip ELISA can selectively separate and quantify target analytes from complex matrices like human bio-fluids, environmental or food samples. Pipette-tip ELISA can be used to diagnose and stage cancer, pathogens, infectious disease, food and water contaminants.
Tips were designed as a microfluidic adapter that can be either singles that fit single-channel pipettes or eight chambers that fit multi-channel pipettes. Each chamber capacity is 50 uL and have an overflow conduit to protect pipettes from contamination.