Simplifying assays by tableting reagents

Buddhisha Udugama, Pranav Kadhiresan, Amila Samarakoon, Warren CW Chan

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 48, 17341–17349 | DOI:10.1021/jacs.7b07055


Medical diagnostic assays provide exquisite sensitivity and precision in the diagnoses of patients. However, these technologies often require multiple steps, skilled technicians, and facilities to store heat-sensitive reagents. Here, we developed a high-throughput compression method to incorporate different assay components into color-coded tablets. With our technique, premeasured quantities of reagents can be encapsulated in compressed tablets. We show that tableting stabilizes heat-sensitive reagents and simplifies a broad range of assays, including isothermal nucleic acid amplification techniques, enzyme-based immunoassays, and microbead diagnostics. To test the clinical readiness of this tableting technology, we show the ability of tableted diagnostics for screening hepatitis B-positive patient samples. Our development simplifies complicated assays and the transportation of reagents and mitigates the need for refrigeration of reagents. This advances the use of complex assays in remote areas with limited infrastructure.