As a first step towards a fully disposable stand-alone diagnostic microchip for determination of urinary human serum albumin (HSA), we report the use of a thin-film organic light emitting diode (OLED) as an excitation source for microscale fluorescence detection. The OLED has a peak emission wavelength of 540 nm, is simple to fabricate on flexible or rigid substrates, and operates at drive voltages below 10 V. In a fluorescence assay, HSA is reacted with Albumin Blue 580, generating a strong emission at 620 nm when excited with the OLED. Filter-less discrimination between excitation light and generated fluorescence is achieved through an orthogonal detection geometry. When the assay is performed in 800 µm deep and 800 µm wide microchannels on a poly(dimethylsiloxane)
(PDMS) microchip at flow rates of 20 µL min−1, HSA concentrations down to 10 mg L−1 can be detected with a linear range from 10 to 100 mg L−1. This sensitivity is sufficient for the determination of microalbuminuria (MAU), an increased urinary albumin excretion indicative of renal disease (clinical cut-off levels: 15–40 mg L−1)
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