Paper-based antibody detection devices using bioluminescent BRET-switching sensor proteins

Keisuke Tenda, Benice van Gerven, Remco Arts, Yuki Hiruta, Maarten Merkx, Daniel Citterio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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This work reports on fully integrated “sample-in-signal-out” microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (μPADs) relying on bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) switches for analyte recognition and colorimetric signal generation. The devices use BRET-based antibody sensing proteins integrated into vertically assembled layers of functionalized paper, and their design enables sample volume-independent and fully reagent-free operation, including on-device blood plasma separation. User operation is limited to the application of a single drop (20–30 μL) of sample (serum, whole blood) and the acquisition of a photograph 20 min after sample introduction, with no requirement for precise pipetting, liquid handling, or analytical equipment except for a camera. Simultaneous detection of three different antibodies (anti-HIV1, anti-HA, and anti-DEN1) in whole blood was achieved. Given its simplicity, this type of device is ideally suited for user-friendly point-of-care testing in low-resource environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15369-15373
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2018


  • antibodies
  • bioluminescence
  • paper-based analytical devices
  • point-of-care testing
  • whole-blood analysis
  • Antibodies, Viral/blood
  • Humans
  • Colorimetry/instrumentation
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques/instrumentation
  • Equipment Design
  • Animals
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Swine
  • Paper
  • Virus Diseases/blood
  • Luminescent Measurements/instrumentation


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