Rapid concentration and elution of malarial antigen histidine-rich protein II using solid phase Zn(II) resin in a simple flow-through pipette tip format

Biomicrofluidics. 2017 Jun 2;11(3):034115. doi: 10.1063/1.4984788. eCollection 2017 May.


Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) designed to function at the point of care are becoming more prevalent in malaria diagnostics because of their low cost and simplicity. While many of these tests function effectively with high parasite density samples, their poor sensitivity can often lead to misdiagnosis when parasitemia falls below 100 parasites/μl. In this study, a flow-through pipette-based column was explored as a cost-effective means to capture and elute more Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein II (HRPII) antigen, concentrating the biomarker available in large-volume lysed whole blood samples into volumes compatible with Plasmodium falciparum-specific RDTs. A systematic investigation of immobilized metal affinity chromatography divalent metal species and solid phase supports established the optimal design parameters necessary to create a flow-through column incorporated into a standard pipette tip. The bidirectional flow inherent to this format maximizes mixing efficiency so that in less than 5 min of sample processing, the test band signal intensity was increased up to a factor of twelve from HRPII concentrations as low as 25 pM. In addition, the limit of detection per sample was decreased by a factor of five when compared to the RDT manufacturer's suggested protocol. Both the development process and commercial viability of this application are explored, serving as a potential model for future applications.