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Issue 4, 2017
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Pipetting-driven microfluidic immunohistochemistry to facilitate enhanced immunoreaction and effective use of antibodies

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Abstract

Immunohistochemistry (IHC), which has been used to detect antigens in cells of a tissue section using an immunoreaction between an antibody and an antigen, is a practical tool for identifying the type and stage of diseases in cancer diagnosis and scientific research. However, conventional IHC requires long, laborious process times and high costs. Although microfluidic IHC platforms have been developed to overcome these limitations, the application of microfluidic IHC in real-world environments is still limited due to the additional equipment needed to operate the microfluidic systems. In addition, continuous flow in a microfluidic channel leads to a waste of unbound antibodies. In this study, we demonstrate a novel and easy-to-use microfluidic IHC platform operated only using a manual pipette that is commonly available in research laboratories or hospitals. No other device such as a pump or a controller is required to operate our system. Bidirectional flows of the antibody solution in a microfluidic device are induced by repetitive manual pipetting which facilitates the enhanced antigen–antibody reaction and enables the effective use of a limited amount of antibody. When breast cancer cell and tissue sections are reacted with antibodies using our platform, pipetting for less than 2 min is sufficient to obtain immunostaining results without damaging the sample. The staining intensity by our method is similar to that of the sample stained for 1 h by a conventional batch process. We believe that this pipetting-based approach to the operation of a microfluidic system allows end users to use microfluidic IHC more conveniently and easily in real-world environments.

Graphical abstract: Pipetting-driven microfluidic immunohistochemistry to facilitate enhanced immunoreaction and effective use of antibodies

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Dec 2016, accepted on 23 Jan 2017 and first published on 24 Jan 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6LC01495J
Citation: Lab Chip, 2017,17, 702-709
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    Pipetting-driven microfluidic immunohistochemistry to facilitate enhanced immunoreaction and effective use of antibodies

    S. Kim, S. Kwon, C. H. Cho and J. Park, Lab Chip, 2017, 17, 702
    DOI: 10.1039/C6LC01495J

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