Label-free biomolecular detection at electrically displaced liquid interfaces using interfacial electrokinetic transduction (IET) Academic Article uri icon


  • Biosensors require a biorecognition element that specifically binds to a target analyte, and a signal transducer, which converts this targeted binding event into a measurable signal. While current biosensing methods are capable of sensitively detecting a variety of target analytes in a laboratory setting, there are inherent difficulties in developing low-cost portable biosensors for point-of-care diagnostics using traditional optical, mass, or electroanalytical-based signal transducers. It is therefore important to develop new biosensing transducer elements for recognizing binding events at low cost and in portable environments. Here, we demonstrate a novel electrokinetic liquid biosensing method for the sensitive label-free detection of a model biomolecule against a background of serum protein. The biosensor is based on the motion of a microfluidic-generated electrical liquid interface when subjected to an external alternating current electrical field. We demonstrate that the electric field-induced motion of the interface can be used as a sensitive and specific transducer for the detection of avidin at femtomolar concentrations in solution. This new detection strategy does not require surface functionalization or fluorescent labels, and has the potential to serve as a sensitive low-cost method for portable biomarker detection.

author list (cited authors)

  • Mavrogiannis, N., Crivellari, F., & Gagnon, Z. R.

citation count

  • 9

publication date

  • October 2015