Gold nanoparticles were synthesized in a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) microfluidic chip by using an in-situ method, on the basis of reductive properties of the cross-linking agent of PDMS. The proposed integrated device was further used as a sensitive and low-cost LSPR-based biosensor for the detection of polypeptides. Synthesis of nanoparticles in the microfluidic environment resulted in improvement of size distribution with only 8% variation, compared with the macro-environment that yields about 67% variation in size. The chemical kinetics of the in-situ reaction in the microfluidic environment was studied in detail and compared with the reaction carried out at the macro-scale. The effect of temperature and gold precursor concentration on the kinetics of the reaction was investigated and the apparent activation energy was estimated to be E*a = 30 kJ/mol. The sensitivity test revealed that the proposed sensor has a high sensitivity of 74 nm/RIU to the surrounding medium. The sensing of bovine growth hormone also known as bovine somatotropin (bST) shows that the proposed biosensor can reach a detection limit of as low as 3.7 ng/ml (185 pM). The results demonstrate the successful integration of microfluidics and nanoparticles which provides a potential alternative for protein detection in clinical diagnostics.
SadAbadi, Hamid, Simona Badilescu, Muthukumaran Packirisamy, Rolf Wthrich
Biosensors and Bioelectronics