Toward the Development of Rapid, Specific, and Sensitive Microfluidic Sensors: A Comprehensive Device Blueprint

Shivani Sathish, Amy Q. Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Recent advances in nano/microfluidics have led to the miniaturization of surface-based chemical and biochemical sensors, with applications ranging from environmental monitoring to disease diagnostics. These systems rely on the detection of analytes flowing in a liquid sample, by exploiting their innate nature to react with specific receptors immobilized on the microchannel walls. The efficiency of these systems is defined by the cumulative effect of analyte detection speed, sensitivity, and specificity. In this perspective, we provide a fresh outlook on the use of important parameters obtained from well-characterized analytical models, by connecting the mass transport and reaction limits with the experimentally attainable limits of analyte detection efficiency. Specifically, we breakdown when and how the operational (e.g., flow rates, channel geometries, mode of detection, etc.) and molecular (e.g., receptor affinity and functionality) variables can be tailored to enhance the analyte detection time, analytical specificity, and sensitivity of the system (i.e., limit of detection). Finally, we present a simple yet cohesive blueprint for the development of high-efficiency surface-based microfluidic sensors for rapid, sensitive, and specific detection of chemical and biochemical analytes, pertinent to a variety of applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1815-1833
Number of pages19
JournalJACS Au
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 22 2021


  • analytical sensitivity
  • analytical specificity
  • biomolecule immobilization
  • label-based detection
  • label-free detection
  • Microfluidic biosensors
  • rapid biomarker detection
  • surface-based immunoassays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward the Development of Rapid, Specific, and Sensitive Microfluidic Sensors: A Comprehensive Device Blueprint'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this