Optical based analysis in microfluidic and lab-on-a-chip systems are currently considered the gold standard methodology for the determination of end point reactions for various chemical and biological reaction processes. Typically, assays are performed using bulky ancillary apparatus such as microscopes and complex optical excitation and detection systems. Such instrumentation negates many of the advantages offered by device miniaturisation, particularly with respect to overall portability. In this article, we present a CO2 laser ablation technique for rapidly prototyping on-chip planar lenses, in conjunction with capillary action based autonomous microfluidics, to create a miniaturised and fully integrated optical biosensing platform. The presented self-aligned on-chip optical components offer an efficient means to direct excitation light within microfluidics and to directly couple light from a LED source. The device has been used in conjunction with a miniaturised and bespoke fluorescence detection platform to create a complete, palm sized system (approximate to 60 x 80 x 60 mm) capable of performing fluoro-immunoassays. The system has been applied to the detection of cardiac Troponin I, one of the gold standard biomarkers for the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, achieving a lower detection limit of 0.08 ng/ml, which is at the threshold of clinically applicable concentrations. The portable nature of the complete system and the biomarker detection capabilities demonstrate the potential of the devised instrumentation for use as a medical diagnostics device at the point of care. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
- FLUORESCENCE DETECTION