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Special Issue "Sensors and Lab-on-a-Chip"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Kwang W. Oh

Director of SMALL (Sensors and MicroActuators Learning Lab)Department of Electrical Engineering and Department of Biomedical EngineeringState University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY-Buffalo), Buffalo, NY 14260 USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-716-645-1025
Interests: bioMEMS; lab-on-a-chip (LOC); microfluidics; droplet-based microfluidics; blood separation; micro PCR; micro SERS; sensors for LOC
Guest Editor
Dr. Linfeng Xu

Bioengineering and Therapeutic Science, School of Pharmacy,University of California, San Francisco,San Francisco, CA 94158-2550, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 1-608-616-0068
Interests: droplet-based microfluidics; vacuum-driven microfluidics; blood separation; sensors for LOC

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) is a technology that allows researchers to shrink a bio/chemical/medical labs onto a chip the size of a small coin. Due to the miniaturization and automation of those bio/chemical/medical procedures, LOC has demonstrated its ultrahigh sensitivity, short diagnostic time, cost efficiency, and so on, which have revolutionized traditional bio/chemical/medical fields.

LOC technology is still far from commercialization. There are many challenges, and we will try to tackle the challenges related to sensors in this Special Issue, “Sensors and Lab-on-a-Chip”. For practical applications, LOC systems need suitable sensors, which we can categorize into three approaches: (1) ideally, the sensors should be disposable along with LOC. For example, CMOS, electrochemical, FET, RF, mechanical, and optical sensors have been integrated with LOC devices for on-chip sensing. The challenge here is, not only to enhance the quality of the on-chip sensors, but also to fabricate the LOC devices cost-effectively. (2) the sensors can do the sensing without being affected by test solutions, thus they can be reused and only the microfluidic parts are disposable. For this approach, user-friendly, contamination-free, modular interfacing between the microfluidic devices and the sensing systems need to be highlighted, along with compact designs for the sensing systems. Recent examples include a lens-free holographic microscope installed on an existing smart phone camera. 3) Another methodology is to utilize mobile micro/nano particles/cells as sensing units in microfluidic devices that can be excited and scanned using external optical or magnetic systems, such as micro SERS (surface enhanced Raman scattering), micro SPR (surface plasmon resonance) and giant magnetoresistance sensors (GMR).

We invite investigators to submit original research articles and reviews to this Special Issue. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, recent developments in the following areas: Fabrication and application of LOC; sensors for LOC systems; CMOS sensors; capacitive sensors; electrochemical sensors; FET sensors; RF sensors; on-chip mechanical sensors (e.g., cantilever, QCM, SAW); on-chip optical sensors; lens-free smartphone microscopes; micro SERS; micro SPR; GMR; cell-based sensors; and nanobio sensors. Authors are invited to contact the Guest Editors prior to submission if they are uncertain whether their work falls within the general scope of this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Kwang W. Oh
Dr. Linfeng Xu
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. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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

  • sensor
  • Lab on a chip
  • biosensor
  • nanobio sensor
  • microfluidics
  • integrated sensor
  • point-of-care sensing
  • electrochemical sensor
  • CMOS sensor
  • FET (field effect transistor) sensor
  • Capacitive sensor
  • On-chip optical sensor
  • On-chip mechanical sensor
  • Micro SERS
  • Micro SPR
  • GMR sensor

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Optical Temperature Control Unit and Convolutional Neural Network for Colorimetric Detection of Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification on a Lab-On-A-Disc Platform
Sensors 2019, 19(14), 3207; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19143207
Received: 20 May 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 20 July 2019
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Abstract
Lab-on-a-disc (LOD) has emerged as a promising candidate for a point-of-care testing (POCT) device because it can effectively integrate complex fluid manipulation steps using multiple layers of polymeric substrates. However, it is still highly challenging to design and fabricate temperature measurement and heating [...] Read more.
Lab-on-a-disc (LOD) has emerged as a promising candidate for a point-of-care testing (POCT) device because it can effectively integrate complex fluid manipulation steps using multiple layers of polymeric substrates. However, it is still highly challenging to design and fabricate temperature measurement and heating system in non-contact with the surface of LOD, which is a prerequisite to successful realization of DNA amplification especially with a rotatable disc. This study presents a Lab-on-a-disc (LOD)-based automatic loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) system, where a thermochromic coating (<~420 µm) was used to distantly measure the chamber’s temperature and a micro graphite film was integrated into the chamber to remotely absorb laser beam with super high efficiency. We used a deep learning network to more consistently analyze the product of LAMP than we could with the naked eye. Consequently, both temperature heating and measurement were carried out without a physical contact with the surface of LOD. The experimental results show that the proposed approach, which no previous work has attempted, was highly effective in realizing LAMP in LOD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Lab-on-a-Chip)
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Open AccessArticle
Non-Contact Temperature Control System Applicable to Polymerase Chain Reaction on a Lab-on-a-Disc
Sensors 2019, 19(11), 2621; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19112621
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 9 June 2019
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Abstract
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the visual inspection of fluorescent amplicons for detection are commonly used procedures in nucleic acid tests. However, it has been extremely challenging to incorporate PCR onto a lab-on-a-disc (PCR–LOD) as it involves controlling the complicated and precise heating [...] Read more.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the visual inspection of fluorescent amplicons for detection are commonly used procedures in nucleic acid tests. However, it has been extremely challenging to incorporate PCR onto a lab-on-a-disc (PCR–LOD) as it involves controlling the complicated and precise heating steps during thermal cycling and the measurement of reagent temperature. Additionally, a non-contact temperature control system without any connecting attachments needs to be implemented to facilitate the rotation of the PCR–LOD. This study presents a non-contact temperature control system to integrate conventional PCR onto an LOD. The experimental results demonstrate that our proposed system provides one-stop detection capabilities for Salmonella with a stable PCR amplification in a single PCR–LOD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Lab-on-a-Chip)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Micro-volume Viscosity with Janus Microbeads Based on Rotational Brownian Motion
Sensors 2019, 19(5), 1217; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19051217
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 10 March 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3127 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Viscosity is an important property of liquids. A viscosity change of aqueous substances that deviates from their normal levels usually implies a compromise in quality due to degradation or microorganism proliferation. Monitoring of macro-scale viscosity can be simply realized by various conventional tools, [...] Read more.
Viscosity is an important property of liquids. A viscosity change of aqueous substances that deviates from their normal levels usually implies a compromise in quality due to degradation or microorganism proliferation. Monitoring of macro-scale viscosity can be simply realized by various conventional tools, such as rotational viscometers, capillary tubes, falling bodies, and so forth. Nevertheless, today, micro-volume viscosity measurement remains a challenging endeavor, resulting in rare, expensive, or difficult-to-obtain samples not very well studied. For this reason, a novel technique for micro-viscosity based on rotational Brownian motion is presented in this paper. Janus microbeads were made by coating fluorescent polystyrene beads with gold film. Taking advantage of the bead configuration of half gold/half fluorescence, the rotational Brownian signal was expressed in terms of blinking fluorescent intensity. The characteristic correlation time was derived from the blinking intensity of trace amounts of a selected medium over a certain time period, and results were correlated with viscosity. Given a volume of only 2 μL for each measurement, calibration of a series of glycerol–water mixtures (100%–1% (v/v) water content) yielded good agreement with the expected viscosity predictions over the range of 0.8–574.8 cP. Five common oil products, including lubricant oil, baby oil, food oil, olive oil, and motor oil, were further investigated to demonstrate the feasibility and practicability of the proposed technique. Data measured by the rotational Brownian motion-based diffusometer were comparable with those measured by a commercial rotational viscometer. The method also explicitly showed viscosity degradation after the oils were heated at a high temperature of over 100 °C for 10 min. Evaluation proved the proposed Janus microbead-enabled rotational diffusometric technique to be a promising approach for rapid and micro-scale viscosity measurement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Lab-on-a-Chip)
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Open AccessArticle
Bioenergetic Health Assessment of a Single Caenorhabditis elegans from Postembryonic Development to Aging Stages via Monitoring Changes in the Oxygen Consumption Rate within a Microfluidic Device
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2453; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082453
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 28 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3117 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Monitoring dynamic changes in oxygen consumption rates (OCR) of a living organism in real time provide an indirect method of monitoring changes in mitochondrial function during development, aging, or malfunctioning processes. In this study, we developed a microfluidic device integrated with an optical [...] Read more.
Monitoring dynamic changes in oxygen consumption rates (OCR) of a living organism in real time provide an indirect method of monitoring changes in mitochondrial function during development, aging, or malfunctioning processes. In this study, we developed a microfluidic device integrated with an optical detection system to measure the OCR of a single developing Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) from postembryonic development to aging stages in real time via phase-based phosphorescence lifetime measurement. The device consists of two components: an acrylic microwell deposited with an oxygen-sensitive luminescent layer for oxygen (O2) measurement and a microfluidic module with a pneumatically driven acrylic lid to controllably seal the microwell. We successfully measured the basal respiration (basal OCR, in pmol O2/min/worm) of a single C. elegans inside a microwell from the stages of postembryonic development (larval stages) through adulthood to aged adult. Sequentially adding metabolic inhibitors to block bioenergetic pathways allowed us to measure the metabolic profiles of a single C. elegans at key growth and aging stages, determining the following fundamental parameters: basal OCR, adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-linked OCR, maximal OCR, reserve respiratory capacity, OCR due to proton leak, and non-mitochondrial OCR. The bioenergetic health index (BHI) was calculated from these fundamental parameters to assess the bioenergetic health of a single developing C. elegans from the postembryonic development to aging stages. The changes in BHI are correlated to C. elegans development stage, with the highest BHI = 27.5 for 4-day-old adults, which possess well-developed bioenergetic functionality. Our proposed platform demonstrates for the first time the feasibility of assessing the BHI of a single C. elegans from postembryonic development to aging stages inside a microfluidic device and provides the potential for a wide variety of biomedical applications that relate mitochondrial malfunction and diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Lab-on-a-Chip)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Progress of Inertial Microfluidics in Principle and Application
Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1762; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061762
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Inertial microfluidics has become a popular topic in microfluidics research for its good performance in particle manipulation and its advantages of simple structure, high throughput, and freedom from an external field. Compared with traditional microfluidic devices, the flow field in inertial microfluidics is [...] Read more.
Inertial microfluidics has become a popular topic in microfluidics research for its good performance in particle manipulation and its advantages of simple structure, high throughput, and freedom from an external field. Compared with traditional microfluidic devices, the flow field in inertial microfluidics is between Stokes state and turbulence, whereas the flow is still regarded as laminar. However, many mechanical effects induced by the inertial effect are difficult to observe in traditional microfluidics, making particle motion analysis in inertial microfluidics more complicated. In recent years, the inertial migration effect in straight and curved channels has been explored theoretically and experimentally to realize on-chip manipulation with extensive applications from the ordinary manipulation of particles to biochemical analysis. In this review, the latest theoretical achievements and force analyses of inertial microfluidics and its development process are introduced, and its applications in circulating tumor cells, exosomes, DNA, and other biological particles are summarized. Finally, the future development of inertial microfluidics is discussed. Owing to its special advantages in particle manipulation, inertial microfluidics will play a more important role in integrated biochips and biomolecule analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Lab-on-a-Chip)
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