Microfluidic Radiobioassays: A Radiometric Detection Tool for Understanding Cellular Physiology and Pharmacokinetics
The investigation of molecular uptake and its kinetics in cells is valuable for understanding the cellular physiologic status, for the observation of drug interventions, and the development of imaging agents and pharmaceuticals. Microfluidic radiobioassay, a term denotes microfluidic radiometric bioassay, is a radiometric imaging-on-a-chip technology for assay of biological samples using the radiotracers. Originated from 2006 and over the last decade development, microfluidic radiobioassay has shown advantages in many applications, including radiotracer characterization, enzyme activity radiobioassays, fast drug evaluation, single-cell imaging, facilitation of dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, and cellular pharmacokinetics (PK)/Pharmacodynamics (PD) studies. These advantages lie in its minimized and integrated detection scheme, allowing real-time tracking of dynamic uptake, high sensitivity radiotracer imaging, and quantitative interpretation of imaging results. In this review, basics of radiotracers, various radiometric detection methods and applications on microfluidic chips will be introduced and summarized, and the potential applications and future directions of microfluidic radiobioassay will be forecasted.