Project Areas

D2 Microchips for protein analytics and diagnostics


In medical engineering exists an increased requirement in point of care detection methods for diagnostic of bacterial inflammation and infectious diseases. Currently, diagnostic tests for serum proteins are carried out by ELISA or immunoblots in centralised laboratories.
Today, flow-through sensor systems offer nearly realtime point-of-care diagnostics when enzyme-based analytics (e.g. determination of glucose or lactate values) can be employed. However nowadays systems based on binding of molecules (especially of antibodies) are not easily available for tests. Task of this project is to develop a micro fluidic system (µTAS, lab-on-chip), that measures antibody binding of small (<100 µl) sample volume in not more than 30 minutes.


Miniaturization with microsystems

Separation of serum from blood cells will be incorporated into the chip. Specific enrichment of the protein of choice by affinity chromatography will be used to limit matrix effects. Furthermore, the enrichment step will be tested for its ability to increase the sensitivity of the system. Detection of proteins will be attempted without any labeling but by determining the protein mass change using high frequency quartz crystal microbalances (QCM) with specially designed antibody fragments (Single chain fragments). The goal is to combine all these parts on one chip.

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Frequency shift due to the adsorption of Anti-CRP-Antibody fragment (anti-CRP-scFv) blocking reagent (Casein) und CRP. PBS was used as buffer solution.

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