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Increased sensitivity of 3D-Well enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for infectious disease detection using 3D-printing fabrication technology

Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay or ELISA -based diagnostics are considered the gold standard in the demonstration of various immunological reaction including in the measurement of antibody response to infectious diseases and to support pathogen identification with application potential in infectious disease outbreaks and individual patients’ treatment and clinical care. The rapid prototyping of ELISA-based diagnostics using available 3D printing technologies provides an opportunity for a further exploration of this platform into immunodetection systems. In this study, a ‘3D-Well’ was designed and fabricated using available 3D printing platforms to have an increased surface area of more than 4 times for protein-surface adsorption compared to those of 96-well plates. The ease and rapidity in designing-product development-feedback cycle offered through 3D printing platforms provided an opportunity for its rapid assessment, in which a chemical etching process was used to make the surface hydrophilic followed by validation through the diagnostic performance of ELISA for infectious disease without modifying current laboratory practices for ELISA. The higher sensitivity of the 3D-Well (3-folds higher) compared to the 96-well ELISA provides a potential for the expansion of this technology towards miniaturization platforms to reduce time, volume of reagents and samples needed for laboratory or field diagnosis of infectious diseases including applications in other disciplines.