Improved biosensing applications using lab-on-a-chip and other platforms

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


Simple and miniaturized micro / nanofluidic platforms are especially interesting due to their advantages like the reduction of sample and reagent volumes, the decrease of the analysis time, the possibility of portability and the integration of conventional analytical techniques. Furthermore it is important to point out the role that nanomaterials can play in terms of enhancing electrochemical properties after being integrated into the microfluidic platform or even in the electrode, where the detection event will be performed. Combined together, nanotechnology, electrochemistry and microfluidics could provide a really powerful biosensor platform, thus in the present Thesis different microfluidic platforms with integrated electrodes as transducers in biosensing applications were evaluated. General aspects and experimental results are exposed, starting from a General Introduction that describes various aspects related with the use of nanomaterials and lab-on-a-chip technologies as a promising synergy for a wide range of applications. The electrochemical detection of proteins (ex. Apolipoprotein-E, ApoE) by using CdS or CdSe@ZnS Quantum Dots (QDs) as labels has been one of the main objectives of this Thesis. The immunocomplex was performed by using tosylactivated magnetic beads as preconcentration platform into the same microfluidic system. Due to the need to achieve a lower limit of detection of the immunoassays, different strategies for electrochemical signal enhancing are proposed. The first one is the use of a magnetic field to immobilize magnetic beads in a controllable way into a microfluidic channel in order to obtain a stable magnetic plug where the immunoassay is performed. The second strategy is the use of a home-made recycling system. In this part, the increasing signal of QDs is demonstrated by using an external peristaltic pump connected to a microfluidic chip forming a loop system. After this demonstration, a micro-peristaltic pump with integrated valves is also proposed. All the fabrication steps have been optimized and the software for sequential control of the valves also has been developed. Finally, bismuth is used as it is a well-known material that agglomerates with heavy metals. We took advantages of this property for improving the electrochemical signal of QDs, due to the cadmium content that QDs have in their core. Optimization of the bismuth concentration has been done in order to achieve the highest signal. This detection has been performed in batch system as well as in microfluidic mode. In addition, another novel platform for electrochemical determination of a pesticide (atrazine) based on magneto-immunoassay using boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrode is presented. BDD electrode has been modified by electroreduction of potassium tetrachloroplatinate (K2PtCl4) in order to grow platinum nanoparticles (Pt-NPs) onto the electrode surface. The immunoassay was based on a direct competitive assay using horseradish peroxidase (HRP) as enzymatic label and magnetic microparticles as preconcentration platform. A flexible organic double gate Bio-Field Effect Transistor (Bio-FET) developed by inkjet technology onto a flexible substrate is also presented. This kind of organic transducers has important advantages for biosensors in terms of fabrication cost and biocompatibility as well as their integration into microchannels. To demonstrate the applicability of this device in the biological field, its functionalization with a capture antibody, in order to detect a model protein in a label-free mode was performed. The device fabrication, its structure, materials composition optimization, electrical characteristics and other functionalities are also discussed. Finally, the general conclusions are exposed including some opinions / recommendations for further continuation of the research in the field
Date of Award15 Nov 2013
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorArben Merkoçi Hyka (Director), Sandrine Miserere (Director) & Antonio Pedro Villaverde Corrales (Tutor)

Cite this