Bead-based immunosensing has been growing as a promising technology in the point-of-care diagnostics due to great flexibility. For dilute samples, functionalized particles can be used to collect dispersed analytes and act as carriers for particle manipulation. To realize rapid and visual immunosensing, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) was used herein to ensure only the diabetic biomarker, lipocalin 1, to be detected. The measurement was made in an aqueous droplet sandwiched between two parallel plate electrodes. With an electric field and a focused laser beam applying on the microchip simultaneously, the immunocomplexes in the droplet were further concentrated to enhance the FRET fluorescent signal. The optoelectrokinetic technique, termed rapid electrokinetic patterning (REP), has been proven to be excellent in dynamic and programmable particle manipulation. Therefore, the detection can be complete within several tens of seconds. The lower detection limit of the REP-enabled bead-based diagnosis reached nearly 5 nM. The combinative use of FRET and the optoelectrokinetic technique for the bead-based immunosensing enables a rapid measure to diagnose early stage diseases and dilute analytes.
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