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Detection of Magnetically Labelled Microcarriers for Suspension Based Bioassay Technologies

By: Palfreyman, J.J.; Cooper, J.F.K.; Hong, B.; Vyas, K.N.; Barnes, C.H.W.;

2011 / IEEE


This item was taken from the IEEE Periodical ' Detection of Magnetically Labelled Microcarriers for Suspension Based Bioassay Technologies ' Microarrays and suspension-based assay technologies have attracted significant interest over the past decade with applications ranging from medical diagnostics to high throughput molecular biology. The throughput and sensitivity of a microarray will always be limited by the array density and slow reaction kinetics. Suspension (or bead) based technologies offer a conceptually different approach, improving detection by substituting a fixed plane of operation with millions of microcarriers. However, these technologies are currently limited by the number of unique labels that can be generated in order to identify the molecular probes on the surface. We have proposed a novel suspension-based technology that utilizes patterned magnetic films for the purpose of generating a writable label. The microcarriers consist of an SU-8 substrate that can be functionalized with various chemical or biological probes and magnetic elements, which are individually addressable by a magnetic sensor. The magnetization of each element is aligned in one of two stable directions, thereby acting as a magnetic bit. In order to detect the stray field and identify the magnetic labels, we have developed a microfluidic device with an integrated tunneling magnetoresistive (TMR) sensor, sourced from Micro Magnetics Inc. We present the TMR embedding architecture as well as detection results demonstrating the feasibility of magnetic labeling for lab-on-a-chip applications.