Rapid detection of different human anti-HCV immunoglobulins on electrical biochips
The detection of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the blood of patients is currently based on immunological assays (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA] and recombinant immunoblot assay) that use different HCV epitopes to detect anti-HCV antibodies, and these tests usually require laboratories and trained personnel. The ELISA-based systems are also time consuming. Portable diagnostic devices offering rapid test results would therefore be advantageous in the field of medical care. To facilitate the fast and reliable diagnosis of HCV, we used a miniaturized automated system based on a cartridge with an integrated electrical biochip for the decentralized detection of anti-HCV antibodies against the Core, NS3, and NS4A proteins. This system allows the detection of virus-specific antibodies in 2 µL of serum or whole blood within 15 minutes using an ELISA directly on a gold electrode array containing HCV proteins as the capture antigen. The sensitivity of this system is comparable with standard microtiter plate ELISAs, but the duration of the novel assay is 5%-6% that of standard ELISAs.