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Utilization of nanoparticles in microfluidic systems for optical detection

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An increasing interest has been shown in microfluidic systems due to their properties including low consumption of reagents, short analysis time and easy integration. However, despite of these advantages over conventional methods, some limitations in sensitivity and selectivity still exist in microfluidic systems. Recently advancements in nanotechnology offer some new approaches for the detection of target analytes with high sensitivity and selectivity. As a result, it is an appropriate method to enhance the detection sensitivity through a combination between microfluidic system and nanotechnology. Optical detection is a dominant technique in microfluidics because of its noninvasive nature and easy coupling. Numerous studies that integrate optical microfluidic system with nanotechnology have been reported in recent years. Therefore, optical microfluidic systems in combination with nanomaterials (NMs) are reviewed in our work. We illustrate the functions of different NMs in optical microfluidic systems and the efforts of different researchers to improve the performance of devices. After the introduction of different nanoparticle-based optical detection methods, challenges and future directions in the development of nanoparticle-based optical detection schemes in microfluidics have also been discussed.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81202378 and 81311140268), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central South Universities (7601110178).

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Correspondence to Chuanpin Chen.

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Liang, W., Lin, H., Chen, J. et al. Utilization of nanoparticles in microfluidic systems for optical detection. Microsyst Technol 22, 2363–2370 (2016).

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