Development of Field-deployable Nucleic Acid Testing Platforms
This thesis is focused on the development of field-deployable nucleic acid testing platforms to allowed rapid detection and quantification of nucleic acids. Two distinct platforms suitable for nucleic acid testing in resource-limited settings were developed. First, a paper-based diagnostic device was developed. The principle of this paper-based device was based on the unique interfacial interaction of DNA and the DNA intercalating dye with cellulose on chromatographic paper. Second, a colorimetric reader was developed. The principle of the reader was based on measuring the absorbance change of a chromogenic substrate which is triggered by DNA and DNA intercalating dyes under light illumination. The performance of both devices was tested using synthetic DNA, nucleic acid amplicons, and actual parasites nucleic acid samples collected from school-age children in rural areas of Honduras.