Recent developments in optical detection technologies in Lab-on-a-Chip devices for biosensing applications
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSensors. 2014, 14 (8), 15458-15479. 10.3390/s140815458
The field of microfluidics has yet to develop practical devices that provide real clinical value. One of the main reasons for this is the difficulty in realizing low-cost, sensitive, reproducible, and portable analyte detection microfluidic systems. Previous research has addressed two main approaches for the detection technologies in lab-on-a-chip devices: (a) study of the compatibility of conventional instrumentation with microfluidic structures, and (b) integration of innovative sensors contained within the microfluidic system. Despite the recent advances in electrochemical and mechanical based sensors, their drawbacks pose important challenges to their application in disposable microfluidic devices. Instead, optical detection remains an attractive solution for lab-on-a-chip devices, because of the ubiquity of the optical methods in the laboratory. Besides, robust and cost-effective devices for use in the field can be realized by integrating proper optical detection technologies on chips. This review examines the recent developments in detection technologies applied to microfluidic biosensors, especially addressing several optical methods, including fluorescence, chemiluminescence, absorbance and surface plasmon resonance.