Special Issue "Microfluidics for Biosensing and Diagnostics"

A special issue of Biosensors (ISSN 2079-6374).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. David W. Inglis
Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, Macquarie University, Sydney NSW 2109, Australia
Interests: microfluidics for cell and particle separation; microfluidic physics; nanofluidics; biophotonics
Dr. Majid Ebrahimi Warkiani
Website
Guest Editor
School of Biomedical Engineering, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney NSW 2007, Australia
Interests: microfluidics; organ-on-a-chip
Dr. Mohammad A. Qasaimeh
Website
Guest Editor
Division of Engineering, New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE
Tandon School of Engineering, New York University, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
Interests: microfluidics; biomedical micro-devices; point of care diagnostics; cancer; blood
Dr. Weiqiang Chen
Website
Guest Editor
Tandon School of Engineering, New York University, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
Interests: microfluidics; organ-on-a-chip; biosensing; cancer; immune engineering

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite contributions to this Special Issue covering biologically relevant sensing and diagnostics with micro-scale fluidic structures. Efforts to miniaturize sensing and diagnostic devices and to integrate multiple functions into one device have caused massive growth in the field of microfluidics. This has been apparent in the volume of papers in the more recent success of many commercial devices.

The field of microfluidics is exceptionally diverse. It attracts interest and contributions from physicists, chemists and biologists, as well as electrical, mechanical, chemical, and biomedical engineers. Working in such a diverse community poses many challenges arising from different training, different terminology, and different standards and expectations for data.  However, if we can overcome these pedantic differences, and communicate effectively, we may achieve great things.

With this in mind we invite contributions to this special issue from as broad a community as possible.  The list of potential topics is vast, but we are particularly interested in work that elucidates how some physical or chemical phenomena is leveraged by microfluidics to improve or enable a biosensing or diagnostic application.

We will look for scientifically sound work that is presented in clear, concise, and simple writing. The work should be thoughtfully analyzed and written for the diverse microfluidics community.

Dr. David W. Inglis
Dr. Majid Ebrahimi Warkiani
Dr. Mohammad A. Qasaimeh
Dr. Weiqiang Chen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biosensors is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • 3D Printing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Bioconjugation
  • Electrochemical
  • Enzyme
  • Fabrication
  • Field effect transistor
  • Lab-on-chip
  • Lab-on-disk
  • Limit of detection
  • Non-specific binding
  • Point of care
  • Paper-based microfluidics
  • Sensing
  • Separation

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Fast Active Merging of Microdroplets in Microfluidic Chambers Driven by Photo-Isomerisation of Azobenzene Based Surfactants
Biosensors 2019, 9(4), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9040129 - 01 Nov 2019
Abstract
In this work, we report on the development of a newly synthesized photoactive reversible azobenzene derived surfactant polymer, which enables active and fast control of the merging of microdroplets in microfluidic chambers, driven by a pulsed UV laser optical stimulus and the well [...] Read more.
In this work, we report on the development of a newly synthesized photoactive reversible azobenzene derived surfactant polymer, which enables active and fast control of the merging of microdroplets in microfluidic chambers, driven by a pulsed UV laser optical stimulus and the well known cis-trans photo-isomerisation of azobenzene groups. We show for the first time that merging of microdroplets can be achieved optically based on a photo-isomerization process with a high spatio-temporal resolution. Our results show that the physical process lying behind the merging of microdroplets is not driven by a change in surface activity of the droplet stabilizing surfactant under UV illumination (as originally expected), and they suggest an original mechanism for the merging of droplets based on the well-known opto-mechanical motion of azobenzene molecules triggered by light irradiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Biosensing and Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of In-Flow Magnetoresistive Chip Cell—Counter as a Diagnostic Tool
Biosensors 2019, 9(3), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9030105 - 31 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Inexpensive simple medical devices allowing fast and reliable counting of whole cells are of interest for diagnosis and treatment monitoring. Magnetic-based labs on a chip are one of the possibilities currently studied to address this issue. Giant magnetoresistance (GMR) sensors offer both great [...] Read more.
Inexpensive simple medical devices allowing fast and reliable counting of whole cells are of interest for diagnosis and treatment monitoring. Magnetic-based labs on a chip are one of the possibilities currently studied to address this issue. Giant magnetoresistance (GMR) sensors offer both great sensitivity and device integrability with microfluidics and electronics. When used on a dynamic system, GMR-based biochips are able to detect magnetically labeled individual cells. In this article, a rigorous evaluation of the main characteristics of this magnetic medical device (specificity, sensitivity, time of use and variability) are presented and compared to those of both an ELISA test and a conventional flow cytometer, using an eukaryotic malignant cell line model in physiological conditions (NS1 murine cells in phosphate buffer saline). We describe a proof of specificity of a GMR sensor detection of magnetically labeled cells. The limit of detection of the actual system was shown to be similar to the ELISA one and 10 times higher than the cytometer one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Biosensing and Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
Towards CMOS Integrated Microfluidics Using Dielectrophoretic Immobilization
Biosensors 2019, 9(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9020077 - 05 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is a nondestructive and noninvasive method which is favorable for point-of-care medical diagnostic tests. This technique exhibits prominent relevance in a wide range of medical applications wherein the miniaturized platform for manipulation (immobilization, separation or rotation), and detection of biological particles [...] Read more.
Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is a nondestructive and noninvasive method which is favorable for point-of-care medical diagnostic tests. This technique exhibits prominent relevance in a wide range of medical applications wherein the miniaturized platform for manipulation (immobilization, separation or rotation), and detection of biological particles (cells or molecules) can be conducted. DEP can be performed using advanced planar technologies, such as complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) through interdigitated capacitive biosensors. The dielectrophoretically immobilization of micron and submicron size particles using interdigitated electrode (IDE) arrays is studied by finite element simulations. The CMOS compatible IDEs have been placed into the silicon microfluidic channel. A rigorous study of the DEP force actuation, the IDE’s geometrical structure, and the fluid dynamics are crucial for enabling the complete platform for CMOS integrated microfluidics and detection of micron and submicron-sized particle ranges. The design of the IDEs is performed by robust finite element analyses to avoid time-consuming and costly fabrication processes. To analyze the preliminary microfluidic test vehicle, simulations were first performed with non-biological particles. To produce DEP force, an AC field in the range of 1 to 5 V (peak-to-peak) is applied to the IDE. The impact of the effective external and internal properties, such as actuating DEP frequency and voltage, fluid flow velocity, and IDE’s geometrical parameters are investigated. The IDE based system will be used to immobilize and sense particles simultaneously while flowing through the microfluidic channel. The sensed particles will be detected using the capacitive sensing feature of the biosensor. The sensing and detecting of the particles are not in the scope of this paper and will be described in details elsewhere. However, to provide a complete overview of this system, the working principles of the sensor, the readout detection circuit, and the integration process of the silicon microfluidic channel are briefly discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Biosensing and Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
Acoustofluidic Micromixing Enabled Hybrid Integrated Colorimetric Sensing, for Rapid Point-of-Care Measurement of Salivary Potassium
Biosensors 2019, 9(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9020073 - 28 May 2019
Abstract
The integration of microfluidics with advanced biosensor technologies offers tremendous advantages such as smaller sample volume requirement and precise handling of samples and reagents, for developing affordable point-of-care testing methodologies that could be used in hospitals for monitoring patients. However, the success and [...] Read more.
The integration of microfluidics with advanced biosensor technologies offers tremendous advantages such as smaller sample volume requirement and precise handling of samples and reagents, for developing affordable point-of-care testing methodologies that could be used in hospitals for monitoring patients. However, the success and popularity of point-of-care diagnosis lies with the generation of instantaneous and reliable results through in situ tests conducted in a painless, non-invasive manner. This work presents the development of a simple, hybrid integrated optical microfluidic biosensor for rapid detection of analytes in test samples. The proposed biosensor works on the principle of colorimetric optical absorption, wherein samples mixed with suitable chromogenic substrates induce a color change dependent upon the analyte concentration that could then be detected by the absorbance of light in its path length. This optical detection scheme has been hybrid integrated with an acoustofluidic micromixing unit to enable uniform mixing of fluids within the device. As a proof-of-concept, we have demonstrated the real-time application of our biosensor format for the detection of potassium in whole saliva samples. The results show that our lab-on-a-chip technology could provide a useful strategy in biomedical diagnoses for rapid analyte detection towards clinical point-of-care testing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Biosensing and Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
Analytical Solution of the Time-Dependent Microfluidic Poiseuille Flow in Rectangular Channel Cross-Sections and Its Numerical Implementation in Microsoft Excel
Biosensors 2019, 9(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9020067 - 24 May 2019
Abstract
We recently demonstrated that the Navier–Stokes equation for pressure-driven laminar (Poiseuille) flow can be solved in any channel cross-section using a finite difference scheme implemented in a spreadsheet analysis tool such as Microsoft Excel. We also showed that implementing different boundary conditions (slip, [...] Read more.
We recently demonstrated that the Navier–Stokes equation for pressure-driven laminar (Poiseuille) flow can be solved in any channel cross-section using a finite difference scheme implemented in a spreadsheet analysis tool such as Microsoft Excel. We also showed that implementing different boundary conditions (slip, no-slip) is straight-forward. The results obtained in such calculations only deviated by a few percent from the (exact) analytical solution. In this paper we demonstrate that these approaches extend to cases where time-dependency is of importance, e.g., during initiation or after removal of the driving pressure. As will be shown, the developed spread-sheet can be used conveniently for almost any cross-section for which analytical solutions are close-to-impossible to obtain. We believe that providing researchers with convenient tools to derive solutions to complex flow problems in a fast and intuitive way will significantly enhance the understanding of the flow conditions as well as mass and heat transfer kinetics in microfluidic systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Biosensing and Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrated Microfluidic Devices Fabricated in Poly (Methyl Methacrylate) (PMMA) for On-site Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of Aminoglycosides in Whole Blood
Biosensors 2019, 9(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9010019 - 30 Jan 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
On-site therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is important for providing a quick and accurate dosing to patients in order to improve efficacy and minimize toxicity. Aminoglycosides such as amikacin, gentamicin, and tobramycin are important antibiotics that have been commonly used to treat infections of [...] Read more.
On-site therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is important for providing a quick and accurate dosing to patients in order to improve efficacy and minimize toxicity. Aminoglycosides such as amikacin, gentamicin, and tobramycin are important antibiotics that have been commonly used to treat infections of chronic bacterial infections in the urinary tract, lung, and heart. However, these aminoglycosides can lead to vestibular and auditory dysfunction. Therefore, TDM of aminoglycosides is important due to their ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity. Here, we have developed a hot embossed poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) microfluidic device featuring an electrokinetic size and mobility trap (SMT) to purify, concentrate, and separate the aminoglycoside antibiotic drugs amikacin, gentamicin, and tobramycin. These drugs were separated successfully from whole blood within 3 min, with 30-fold lower detection limits compared to a standard pinched injection. The limit of detections (LOD) were 3.75 µg/mL for gentamicin, 8.53 µg/mL for amikacin, and 6.00 µg/mL for tobramycin. These are sufficient to cover the therapeutic range for treating sepsis of 6–10 μg/mL gentamicin and tobramycin and 12–20 μg/mL of amikacin. The device is simple and could be mass produced via embossing or injection molding approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Biosensing and Diagnostics)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Droplets for Sampling and Transport of Chemical Signals in Biosensing: A Review
Biosensors 2019, 9(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9020080 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The chemical, temporal, and spatial resolution of chemical signals that are sampled and transported with continuous flow is limited because of Taylor dispersion. Droplets have been used to solve this problem by digitizing chemical signals into discrete segments that can be transported for [...] Read more.
The chemical, temporal, and spatial resolution of chemical signals that are sampled and transported with continuous flow is limited because of Taylor dispersion. Droplets have been used to solve this problem by digitizing chemical signals into discrete segments that can be transported for a long distance or a long time without loss of chemical, temporal or spatial precision. In this review, we describe Taylor dispersion, sampling theory, and Laplace pressure, and give examples of sampling probes that have used droplets to sample or/and transport fluid from a continuous medium, such as cell culture or nerve tissue, for external analysis. The examples are categorized, as follows: (1) Aqueous-phase sampling with downstream droplet formation; (2) preformed droplets for sampling; and (3) droplets formed near the analyte source. Finally, strategies for downstream sample recovery for conventional analysis are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics for Biosensing and Diagnostics)
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