Accessible Telemedicine Diagnostics with ELISA in a 3D Printed Pipette Tip

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Analytical Chemistry








© 2019 American Chemical Society. We report herein a novel pipet-based "ELISA in a tip" as a new versatile diagnostic tool featuring better sensitivity, shorter incubation time, accessibility, and low sample and reagent volumes compared to traditional ELISA. Capture and analysis of data by a cell phone facilitates electronic delivery of results to health care providers. Pipette tips were designed and 3D printed as adapters to fit most commercial 50-200 μL pipettes. Capture antibodies (Ab1) are immobilized on the inner walls of the pipet tip, which serves as the assay compartment where samples and reagents are moved in and out by pipetting. Signals are generated using colorimetric or chemiluminescent (CL) reagents and can be quantified using a cell phone, CCD camera, or plate reader. We utilized pipet-tip ELISA to detect four cancer biomarker proteins with detection limits similar to or lower than microplate ELISAs at 25% assay cost and time. Recoveries of these proteins from spiked human serum were 85-115% or better, depending slightly on detection mode. Using CCD camera quantification of CL with femto-luminol reagent gave limits of detection (LOD) as low as 0.5 pg/mL. Patient samples (13) were assayed for 3 biomarker proteins with results well correlated to conventional ELISA and an established microfluidic electrochemical immunoassay.

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