Automated microfluidic platform of bead-based electrochemical immunosensor integrated with bioreactor for continual monitoring of cell secreted biomarkers
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/srep24598
There is an increasing interest in developing microfluidic bioreactors and organs-on-a-chip platforms combined with sensing capabilities for continual monitoring of cell-secreted biomarkers. Conventional approaches such as ELISA and mass spectroscopy cannot satisfy the needs of continual monitoring as they are labor-intensive and not easily integrable with low-volume bioreactors. This paper reports on the development of an automated microfluidic bead-based electrochemical immunosensor for in-line measurement of cell-secreted biomarkers. For the operation of the multi-use immunosensor, disposable magnetic microbeads were used to immobilize biomarker-recognition molecules. Microvalves were further integrated in the microfluidic immunosensor chip to achieve programmable operations of the immunoassay including bead loading and unloading, binding, washing, and electrochemical sensing. The platform allowed convenient integration of the immunosensor with liver-on-chips to carry out continual quantification of biomarkers secreted from hepatocytes. Transferrin and albumin productions were monitored during a 5-day hepatotoxicity assessment in which human primary hepatocytes cultured in the bioreactor were treated with acetaminophen. Taken together, our unique microfluidic immunosensor provides a new platform for in-line detection of biomarkers in low volumes and long-term in vitro assessments of cellular functions in microfluidic bioreactors and organs-on-chips.