The development of microfluidic paper-based analytical devices for point-of-care diagnosis of sheep scab
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The recent growing interest and development of microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (μPADs) for point-of-care (POC) testing in human health in low-resource settings has great potential for the exploitation of these technologies in animal disease diagnosis. Sheep scab is a highly infectious, widespread and notifiable disease of sheep, which poses major economic and welfare concerns for the UK farming industry. The possibility of diagnosing sheep scab at the POC is, consequently, very important to controlling this disease. The overall aim of this project was, therefore, to develop μPADs based on a novel method of fabrication, in order to translate the existing lab-based sheep scab ELISA (Pso o 2) and a biomarker test for haptoglobin (Hp) into paper-based ELISA (P-ELISA), to enable POC diagnosis of this animal disease. In Chapter 3, the novel fabrication method is described, in Chapters 4 and 5, the translation of the lab-based ELISAs (Hp and Pso o 2 respectively) are explained and in Chapter 6 the development of a μPAD for incorporation of the POC tests into a multiplexed, rapid assay is covered. Experiments showed that both ELISAs were successfully transferred onto paper and that the devices developed were suitable for POC testing. This study has resulted in a novel fabrication method for μPADs, in successfully translated existing ELISAs to P-ELISA and in novel solutions for the POC diagnosis of an important veterinary disease.