Microfluidic platforms for biomarker analysis†
Biomarkers have been described as characteristics, most often molecular, that provide information about biological states, whether normal, pathological, or therapeutically modified. They hold great potential to assist diagnosis and prognosis, monitor disease, and assess therapeutic effectiveness. While a few biomarkers are routinely utilised clinically, these only reflect a very small percentage of all biomarkers discovered. Numerous factors contribute to the slow uptake of these new biomarkers, with challenges faced throughout the biomarker development pipeline. Microfluidics offers two important opportunities to the field of biomarkers: firstly, it can address some of these developmental obstacles, and secondly, it can provide the precise and complex platform required to bridge the gap between biomarker research and the biomarker-based analytical device market. Indeed, adoption of microfluidics has provided a new avenue for advancement, promoting clinical utilisation of both biomarkers and their analytical platforms. This review will discuss biomarkers and outline microfluidic platforms developed for biomarker analysis.