Research Paper

Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 941-963

Microfluidic platforms for discovery and detection of molecular biomarkers

  • Lien-Yu HungAffiliated withDepartment of Power Mechanical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University
  • , Hui-Wen WuAffiliated withDepartment of Power Mechanical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University
  • , Kuangwen HsiehAffiliated withDepartment of Power Mechanical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University
  • , Gwo-Bin LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Power Mechanical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University Email author 

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Abstract

Microfluidics has emerged as a promising platform for discovery and detection of molecular biomarkers recently. With this approach, the discovery of these biomarkers could be more efficient in time and consumes less samples and reagents. Furthermore, the entire discovery process could be automated since all the functional microfluidic devices such as micropumps and microvalves could be integrated on a single chip. Similarly, the detection of the discovered molecular biomarkers is also promising. Detection of nucleic acid biomarkers, protein biomarkers, and metabolite biomarkers has been demonstrated on microfluidic platforms recently. When compared with their large-scale counterparts, the miniature system can perform the detection of these biomarkers within less analysis time while a multiplexed detection scheme could be easily achieved. Furthermore, the entire detection process could be automated on the single chip as well. This review paper is therefore to review the recent development of microfluidic devices and systems for the discovery and detection of the molecular biomarker. Techniques for biomarker discovery, verification, and detection that have been adapted into microfluidics were first reviewed, and their advantages were highlighted. The new approach of biomarker screening based on in vitro-generated affinity reagents such as nucleic acid aptamers and peptide affinity reagents was then reviewed. Finally, in the biomarker detection section, this review placed a special emphasis on commercialized microfluidic-based diagnostics for molecular biomarkers.

Keywords

Microfluidics Molecular biomarker Discovery of biomarkers Detection of biomarkers