This study presents a new microfluidic chip integrated with pneumatic micropumps, normally close microvalves and vortex-type micromixers for C-reactive protein (CRP) measurement. CRP is a protein produced during the inflammation process. It has been reported that CRP in serum can be used for risk assessment of cardiovascular diseases. In this study, CRP measurements were performed by using the integrated microfluidic chip incorporated with magnetic beads. The magnetic beads coated with CRP-specific DNA aptamers were used to recognize, purify and enrich the target CRP. The entire process including sample pre-treatment, and the interaction between the target CRP and anti-CRP antibody was automatically performed on a single chip. The chemiluminescence signal was measured using a luminometer to detect the concentration of CRP afterwards. The entire reaction time is less then 25 min, which is only about 20% of the time required when compared to using traditional bench-top machines (150 min). More importantly, the detection limit has been improved from 0.125 to 0.0125 mg/L with only half the amount of reagent consumption. The development of this microfluidic system is promising for fast, accurate, and sensitive detection of CRP. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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