Polymerization-based signal amplification for paper-based immunoassays

Abraham K. Badu-Tawiah, Shefali Lathwal, Kaja Kaastrup, Mohammad Al-Sayah, Dionysios C. Christodouleas, Barbara S. Smith, George M. Whitesides, Hadley D. Sikes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Diagnostic tests in resource-limited settings require technologies that are affordable and easy to use with minimal infrastructure. Colorimetric detection methods that produce results that are readable by eye, without reliance on specialized and expensive equipment, have great utility in these settings. We report a colorimetric method that integrates a paper-based immunoassay with a rapid, visible-light-induced polymerization to provide high visual contrast between a positive and a negative result. Using Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 as an example, we demonstrate that this method allows visual detection of proteins in complex matrices such as human serum and provides quantitative information regarding analyte levels when combined with cellphone-based imaging. It also allows the user to decouple the capture of analyte from signal amplification and visualization steps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-659
Number of pages5
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 7 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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