Microtech2010 2010

Magnetic lab-on-a-chip devices for multiplexed diagnostics

T. Mitrelias, K. Vyas, B. Hong, J.R. Jeong, J.J. Palfreyman, T. Trypiniotis, T.J. Hayward, P.A. Robertson, J. Cooper, C.H.W. Barnes
University of Cambridge, UK

Keywords: magnetic tagging, biosensors, clinical diagnostics, lab-on-a-chip


We are developing a novel digital magnetic tagging technology based on magnetic-tags that can be encoded and decoded as they flow through microfluidic channels, by means of an external magnetic read/write head. The microtags consist of a substrate and magnetic microbars that are individually addressable by the external magnetic sensor and can be functionalized with various chemical or biological probes. We also discuss the design principles of a novel magnetic lab-on-a-chip device comprising microfluidic channels and magnetic and optical sensors, which could be utilized to implement the magnetic tagging technology by facilitating the encoding/decoding of magnetic tags in flow. We envisage that such a device could in the longer term be used for various applications, such as genome sequencing, immunoassays, proteomics and medical diagnostics. They key benefits of this technology are (i) that it enables the fabrication of miniaturised fully integrated magnetic microchips that will be used for point-of-care diagnostics, (ii) that a very large number of biomolecules can be detected (the technology is digital, i.e. it provides a very large number of distint codes) and (iii) that the microchip can be reprogrammable during analysis offering extreme flexibility and versatility.
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