Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is widely used for the detection of disease biomarkers. However, it utilizes time-consuming procedures and expensive instruments, making it infeasible for point-of-care (POC) analysis especially in resource-limited settings. In this work, a multicolorimetric ELISA biosensor integrated on a paper/polymer hybrid microfluidic device was developed for rapid visual detection of disease biomarkers at point of care, without using costly equipment. This multicolormetric ELISA platform was built on multiple distinct color variants resulted from the catalytic oxidation of 3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) and the etching of gold nanorods (AuNRs). The vivid color changes could be easily distinguished by the naked eye, and their red mean values allowed quantitative biomarker detection, without using any sophisticated instruments. When this multicolorimetric ELISA was integrated on a paper/polymer hybrid analytical device, it not only provided integrated processing and high portability but also enabled fast assays in about 50 min due to the unique advantages of paper/polymer hybrid devices. The limit of detection of 9.1 ng/μL of the hepatitis C virus core antigen, a biomarker for hepatitis C, was achieved using this multicolorimetric ELISA platform. This multicolor ELISA analytical device provides a new versatile, user-friendly, affordable, and portable immunosensing platform with high potential for on-site detections of various viruses, proteins, and biomarkers for low-resource settings such as at home, public venues, rural areas, and developing nations.
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