, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 475-483

A blocking-free microfluidic fluorescence heterogeneous immunoassay for point-of-care diagnostics

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Abstract

In this article, a rapid, sensitive, and disposable microfluidic immunosensor is presented for point-of-care (POC) testing and clinical diagnosis. For the first time, the blocking process is eliminated from a microfluidic heterogeneous immunoassay by using protein A functionalized polydimethylsiloxane microchannels. The nonspecific binding of the assay is maintained around the chip background level by using a pair of antibodies with different affinity to protein A under optimized experimental conditions. C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker for inflammation and cardiovascular disease risk assessment, is selected as a model analyte to demonstrate the sensitivity of this blocking-free microfluidic heterogeneous immunoassay. A four parameter logistic function is used to model and assess the data. The limit of detection obtained is 0.54 μg/mL, which is lower than the cut-off value for clinical diagnosis. The overall assay is completed in 5 min. The protein A modified PDMS chips wet-stored at 4°C can maintain biofunctionality up to 14 months. The developed blocking-free microfluidic heterogeneous immunoassay will immediately provide benefits to most immunosensing microdevices targeted for POC diagnostics by shortening analysis time, simplifying fluid transportation, reducing sample consumption, and lowering waste generation.