An automated optofluidic biosensor platform combining interferometric sensors and injection moulded microfluidics†
A primary limitation preventing practical implementation of photonic biosensors within point-of-care platforms is their integration with fluidic automation subsystems. For most diagnostic applications, photonic biosensors require complex fluid handling protocols; this is especially prominent in the case of competitive immunoassays, commonly used for detection of low-concentration, low-molecular weight biomarkers. For this reason, complex automated microfluidic systems are needed to realise the full point-of-care potential of photonic biosensors. To fulfil this requirement, we propose an on-chip valve-based microfluidic automation module, capable of automating such complex fluid handling. This module is realised through application of a PDMS injection moulding fabrication technique, recently described in our previous work, which enables practical fabrication of normally closed pneumatically actuated elastomeric valves. In this work, these valves are configured to achieve multiplexed reagent addressing for an on-chip diaphragm pump, providing the sample and reagent processing capabilities required for automation of cyclic competitive immunoassays. Application of this technique simplifies fabrication and introduces the potential for mass production, bringing point-of-care integration of complex automated microfluidics into the realm of practicality. This module is integrated with a highly sensitive, label-free bimodal waveguide photonic biosensor, and is demonstrated in the context of a proof-of-concept biosensing assay, detecting the low-molecular weight antibiotic tetracycline.
- This article is part of the themed collection: RSC papers by GRC Bioanalytical Sensors 2018 Speakers