Development of a microfluidic device equipped with micromesh for detection of Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst was reported. A micromesh consisting of 10 x 10 cavities was microfabricated on the stainless steel plate by laser ablation. Each cavity size, approximately 2.7 μm in diameter, was adopted to capture a single C. parvum oocyst. Under negative pressure operation, suspensions containing microbeads or C. parvum oocysts flowed into the microchannel. Due to strong non-specific adsorption of microbeads onto the PDMS microchannel surface during sample injection, the surface was treated with air plasma, followed by treatment with 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) solution. This process reduced the non-specific adsorption of microbeads on the microchannel to 10% or less in comparison to a non-treated microchannel. This microfluidic device equipped with the SUS micromesh was further applied for the capture of C. parvum oocysts. Trapped C. parvum oocysts were visualized by staining with FITC-labeled anti-C. parvum oocyst antibody on a micromesh and counted under fluoroscopic observation. The result obtained by our method was consistent with that obtained by direct immunofluorescence assay coupled with immunomagnetic separation (DFA-IMS) method, indicating that the SUS micromesh is useful for counting of C. parvum oocysts. The newly designed microfluidic device exploits a geometry that allowed for the entrapment of oocysts on the micromesh while providing the rapid introduction of a series of reagents and washes through the microfluidic structure. Our data indicate that this microfluidic device is useful for high-throughput counting of C. parvum oocysts from tap water sample.
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