A major trend in biomedical engineering is the development of reliable, self-contained point-of-care (POC) devices for diagnostics and in-field assays. The new generation of such platforms increasingly addresses the clinical and environmental needs. Moreover, they are becoming more and more integrated with everyday objects, such as smartphones, and their spread among unskilled common people, has the power to improve the quality of life, both in the developed world and in low-resource settings. The future success of these tools will depend on the integration of the relevant key enabling technologies on an industrial scale (microfluidics with microelectronics, highly sensitive detection methods and low-cost materials for easy-to-use tools). Here, recent advances and perspectives will be reviewed across the large spectrum of their applications.
Keywords: biosensors; in vitro diagnostics; lab-on-chip; microfluidics; point-of-care.