Lactoferrin is an abundant glycoprotein in human body fluids and is known as a biomarker for various diseases. Therefore, point-of-care testing (POCT) for lactoferrin is of interest. Microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (µPADs) have gained a lot of attention as next-generation POCT device candidates, due to their inexpensiveness, operational simplicity, and being safely disposable. This work presents a colorimetric sensing approach for quantitative lactoferrin analysis. The detection mechanism takes advantage of the high affinity of lactoferrin to ferric ions (Fe3+). Lactoferrin is able to displace an indicator from a colorimetric 2-(5-bromo-2-pyridylazo)-5-diethylaminophenol (5-Br-PADAP)-Fe3+ complex, resulting in a color change. A 5-Br-PADAP-Fe3+ complex was encapsulated into water-dispersible poly(styrene-block-vinylpyrrolidone) particles, whose physical entrapment in the cellulosic fiber network results in the immobilization of the complex to the paper matrix. The complex-encapsulating particles showed a color change response in accordance with lactoferrin concentration. Both color intensity-based paper well plates and distance readout-based µPADs are demonstrated. Color intensity-based devices allowed quantitative analysis of lactoferrin concentrations with a limit of detection of 110 µg/mL, using a smartphone and a color readout app. On the other hand, distance readout-based µPADs showed changes of the length of colored sections in accordance with lactoferrin concentration. In summary, we successfully developed both colorimetric intensity-based paper wells and distance-based µPADs for lactoferrin detection. This work demonstrates a user-friendly colorimetric analysis platform for lactoferrin without requiring lab equipment and expensive antibodies.
- colorimetric detection
- microfluidic paper-based analytical devices
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Medical Laboratory Technology