Low cost, portable sensors can transform health care by bringing easily available diagnostic devices to low and middle income population, particularly in developing countries. Sample preparation, analyte handling and labeling are primary cost concerns for traditional lab-based diagnostic systems. Lab-on-a-chip (LoC) platforms based on droplet-based microfluidics promise to integrate and automate these complex and expensive laboratory procedures onto a single chip; the cost will be further reduced if label-free biosensors could be integrated onto the LoC platforms. Here, we review some recent developments of label-free, droplet-based biosensors, compatible with "open" digital microfluidic systems. These low-cost droplet-based biosensors overcome some of the fundamental limitations of the classical sensors, enabling timely diagnosis. We identify the key challenges that must be addressed to make these sensors commercially viable and summarize a number of promising research directions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry