A Multiplexed Device Based on Tunable Nanoshearing for Specific Detection of Multiple Protein Biomarkers in Serum
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Microfluidic flow based multiplexed devices have gained significant promise in detecting biomarkers in complex biological samples. However, to fully exploit their use in bioanalysis, issues such as (i) low sensitivity and (ii) high levels of nonspecific adsorption of non-target species have to be overcome. Herein, we describe a new multiplexed device for the sensitive detection of multiple protein biomarkers in serum by using an alternating current (ac) electrohydrodynamics (ac-EHD) induced surface shear forces based phenomenon referred to as nanoshearing. The tunable nature (via manipulation of ac field) of these nanoshearing forces can alter the capture performance of the device (e.g., improved fluid transport enhances number of sensor-target collisions). This can also selectively displace weakly (nonspecifically) bound molecules from the electrode surface (i.e., fluid shear forces can be tuned to shear away nonspecific species present in biological samples). Using this approach, we achieved sensitive (100 fg mL21) naked eye detection of multiple protein targets spiked in human serum and a 1000-fold enhancement in comparison to hydrodynamic flow based devices for biomarker detection. We believe that this approach could potentially represent a clinical diagnostic tool that can be integrated into resource-limited settings for sensitive detection of target biomarkers using naked eye.
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Biomedical Engineering not elsewhere classified