This paper presents a novel microfluidic system with integrated molecular imprinting polymer (MIP) films designed for surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensing of multiple nanoscale biomolecules. The innovative microfluidic chip uses pneumatic microvalves and micropumps to transport a precise amount of the biosample through multiple microchannels to sensing regions containing the locally spin-coated MIP films. The signals of SPR biosensing are basically proportional to the number of molecules adsorbed on the MIP films. Hence, a precise control of flow rates inside microchannels is important to determine the adsorption amount of the molecules in the SPR/MIP chips. The integration of micropumps and microvalves can automate the sample introduction process and precisely control the amount of the sample injection to the microfluidic system. The proposed biochip enables the label-free biosensing of biomolecules in an automatic format, and provides a highly sensitive, highly specific and high-throughput detection performance. Three samples, i.e. progesterone, cholesterol and testosterone, are successfully detected using the developed system. The experimental results show that the proposed SPR/MIP microfluidic chip provides a comparable sensitivity to that of large-scale SPR techniques, but with reduced sample consumption and an automatic format. As such, the developed biochip has significant potential for a wide variety of nanoscale biosensing applications.
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