Microfluidic Point-of-Care Testing: Commercial Landscape and Future Directions

Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2021 Jan 15;8:602659. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2020.602659. eCollection 2020.


Point-of-care testing (POCT) allows physicians to detect and diagnose diseases at or near the patient site, faster than conventional lab-based testing. The importance of POCT is considerably amplified in the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous point-of-care tests and diagnostic devices are available in the market including, but not limited to, glucose monitoring, pregnancy and infertility testing, infectious disease testing, cholesterol testing and cardiac markers. Integrating microfluidics in POCT allows fluid manipulation and detection in a singular device with minimal sample requirements. This review presents an overview of two technologies - (a.) Lateral Flow Assay (LFA) and (b.) Nucleic Acid Amplification - upon which a large chunk of microfluidic POCT diagnostics is based, some of their applications, and commercially available products. Apart from this, we also delve into other microfluidic-based diagnostics that currently dominate the in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) market, current testing landscape for COVID-19 and prospects of microfluidics in next generation diagnostics.

Keywords: COVID-19 diagnostics; LFA; NAATs; microfluidics; point-of-care diagnostics.

Publication types

  • Review