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Multi-Dimensional Nanostructures For Microfluidic Screening Of Biomarkers: From Molecular Separation To Cancer Cell Detection

E. Ng, Kaina Chen, A. Hang, A. Syed, J. Zhang
Published 2015 · Computer Science, Medicine

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Rapid screening of biomarkers, with high specificity and accuracy, is critical for many point-of-care diagnostics. Microfluidics, the use of microscale channels to manipulate small liquid samples and carry reactions in parallel, offers tremendous opportunities to address fundamental questions in biology and provide a fast growing set of clinical tools for medicine. Emerging multi-dimensional nanostructures, when coupled with microfluidics, enable effective and efficient screening with high specificity and sensitivity, both of which are important aspects of biological detection systems. In this review, we provide an overview of current research and technologies that utilize nanostructures to facilitate biological separation in microfluidic channels. Various important physical parameters and theoretical equations that characterize and govern flow in nanostructure-integrated microfluidic channels will be introduced and discussed. The application of multi-dimensional nanostructures, including nanoparticles, nanopillars, and nanoporous layers, integrated with microfluidic channels in molecular and cellular separation will also be reviewed. Finally, we will close with insights on the future of nanostructure-integrated microfluidic platforms and their role in biological and biomedical applications.
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