Liquid Crystal Based Protein Assays Developed in Microfluidic Channels
Chang-Ying Xue and Kun-Lin Yang. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, 4 Engineering Dr 4, Singapore, 117576, Singapore
Protein assays developed in microfluidic channels have many advantages due to its small sample volume, short reaction time, high throughput, and potential for integrating the protein assays into a lab-on-chip device. In this presentation, we report a label-free detection method for protein assays developed in microfluidic channels by using liquid crystal (LC), which can transduce the presence of proteins or antigen-antibody binding events into optical signals clearly visible to the naked eye. Because LC is far more sensitive than fluorescence in distinguishing a very small difference in protein concentration, this new detection method allows the quantification of protein concentration through the length of the bright region in a microfluidic channel, which is similar to a power testing strip on a Energizer® battery. Important issues such as sensitivity and specificity associated with the LC-based protein assay will also be discussed in this presentation.