Applications of Thermal Lens Microscopy in Microfluidic SystemsMladen Franko
, 2016, objavljeni povzetek znanstvenega prispevka na konferenci (vabljeno predavanje)
Opis: Detection in microfluidic systems requires highly sensitive analytical methods, because of the very short optical interaction length, which is usually in the range of 100 μm or shorter. Furthermore, the amounts of analytes in detection volumes are extremely small (femto- or attomoles). Thermal lens spectrometry and particularly thermal lens microscopy (TLM) appear as techniques of choice for detection in microfluidic and lab-on-a-chip systems, since they enable measurements of absorbance’s or absorbance changes as low as 10-7. In addition to ultra-high sensitivity, TLM offers high spatial resolution (≈1 μm) and sufficient temporal resolution (ms range), which is required for studies of processes in microfluidic systems.
Recent development of TLM theory and instrumentation lead to experimental confirmations of the effects of microfluidic flows on the TLM signal, which affects the sensitivity. On the other hand, these observations have enabled optimization of TLM instruments . As a result of these advancements, applications of TLM were extended from simple laminar flows , to highly complex systems such as Tylor-type flows, where TLM detection provided data for description of diffusion processes in n-octane/methanol binary liquid systems . The major streamline of TLM applications was however focused on the development of vanguard analytical systems , which are needed in various fields of chemical analysis, including food safety and quality control, environmental monitoring as well as biomedical research and diagnostics. Such systems are used as sample screening systems (sample filters or selectors) when the information is needed quickly to make immediate decisions in relation to the analytical problem. They provide simplicity (e.g. little or no sample pre-treatment), low cost, rapid and reliable response, and frequently give just binary responses. However, their major weakness is low metrological quality of results. Therefore, uncertainties of up to 5–15% are usually accepted as a toll for rapidity and simplicity, which are essential even though in contradiction with conventional analytical concepts. With the objective of developing new vanguard analytical systems, a relevant goal is to exploit the advantages offered by microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems on one hand, and TLM detection on the other. In such combinations, the FIA approach simplifies sample handling (e.g. volume measurements) and transport to the detector, while microfluidic lab-on-a-chip technology can facilitate and speed up processes including colorimetric reactions, antigen–antibody or enzyme–substrate interactions in bioanalytical systems, and even extraction and preconcentration steps by introducing continuous flow processing and micro unit operations in chemical analysis . High sensitivity of TLM in such systems offers low limits of detection, which also contribute to low uncertainties that are typically below 10%. An important advantage of microfluidic systems lies in the fact that small dimensions of such systems, which consist of capillaries and micro reactors with dimensions about 10 to 100 μm, significantly reduce the molecular diffusion time, which is inversely proportional to the second power of distance. For example, the time required for completion of an ELISA immunoassay for NGAL a biomarker of acute kidney failure was reduced from four hours to only 30 mins. [5, 6] when transferring the assay into a microfluidic system, while maintaining or even improving the sensitivity. Even more evident improvement in sample throughput (reduction of analysis time from 10 hours to 30 minutes) was achieved for determination of antibodies for human papilloma virus (anti L1 HPV 16) in blood plasma, after immobilizing adequate pseudovirions as antigens on magnetic nanobeads . Other health-related applications include detection of toxins, such as microcystin, or carcinogenic substances such as Cr(VI), which offers improved limits of detection as compared to spectrophotometry as well as sample throughput, which can reach 20 samples/min. .
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Ključne besede: Spektrometrija TLM, mikrofluidni sistemi, biomarkerji, alergeni, pesticidi, acetilholinesteraza
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