Latex agglutination tests are used for the diagnosis of diseases in man and animals. They are generally simple, cheap, and do not require sophisticated equipment, nor highly specialized skills. In this Technical Note, we put latex agglutination tests in a microfluidic format. The experiment is performed in PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) microchannels, using streptavidin-coated superparamagnetic beads and a magnetic field. The target molecule is biotinylated protein A. By taking full advantage of the microfluidic conditions (scaling down of the detection volume and controlled action of the shear flow), we achieved an analytical sensitivity of 10 fmol l−1
(several hundreds of fg ml−1) and a fast response (a few minutes) ; the test is also quantitative. Performances of agglutination tests can thus be improved by orders of magnitude by adapting them to a microfluidic format; this comes in addition to the usual advantages offered by this technology (integration, high throughput etc.).
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