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Digital assays using microreactors fabricated on solid substrates are useful for carrying out sensitive assays of infectious diseases and other biological tests. However, sealing of the microchambers using fluid oil is difficult for non-experts, and thus hinders the widespread use of digital microreactor assays. Here, we propose the physical isolation of tiny reactors with adhesive tape (PITAT) using simple, commercially available pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape as a separator of the microreactors. We confirmed that PSA tape can effectively seal the microreactors and prevent molecules from diffusing out. By testing several types of adhesive tape, we found that rubber-based adhesives are the most suitable for this purpose. In addition, we demonstrated that single-molecule enzyme assays can be successfully performed inside microreactors sealed with PSA tape. The results obtained using PITAT are quantitatively comparable to conventional oil sealing, although it is quick and cost-effective. Finally, we demonstrated that single-particle virus counting of the influenza virus can be achieved using PITAT. Collectively, our results suggest that PITAT may be suitable for use in the design of sensitive tests for infectious diseases at the point of care, where no sophisticated equipment or machines are available.


Hideyuki Yaginuma, Kuniko Ohtake, Takako Akamatsu, Hiroyuki Noji, Kazuhito V Tabata. A microreactor sealing method using adhesive tape for digital bioassays. Lab on a chip. 2022 May 17;22(10):2001-2010

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PMID: 35481587

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