Low cost 3D microfluidic chips for multiplex protein detection based on photonic crystal beads
Point-of-care testing (POCT) devices used in multiplex bioassays are in great demand for clinical, environmental and biomedical applications. Photonic crystal beads (PCBs), as structural color self-coding carriers, can be integrated with microfluidic chips to realize convenient and highly sensitive biomarker detection. Here we developed a three dimensional (3D) microfluidic chip based on PCBs, which is low cost and easy to manufacture for mass production and application. The chip was fabricated with polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate sheets, a Ni square mesh grid and transparent double-sided tape. In practice, the target molecules could be captured by PCBs immobilized with probes in a flow-through manner. It was found that the as-proposed chip needed less washing and its background was effectively reduced in comparison with a flow-over chip. Besides, the limit of detection (LOD) of anti-human alpha fetoprotein (AFP) was calculated to be 18.92 ng mL−1, which could meet the need of clinical detection of AFP. Furthermore, the chip demonstrated the feasibility of simultaneous detection of human immunoglobulin G, carcinoembryonic antigen and AFP, which suggests that it has a broad application prospect in multiplex bioassays.