Continuous-flow multi-analyte biosensor cartridge with controllable linear response range
This article presents the design and fabrication of a microfluidic biosensor cartridge for the continuous and simultaneous measurement of biologically relevant analytes in a sample solution. The biosensor principle is based on the amperometric detection of hydrogen peroxide using enzyme-modified electrodes. The low-integrated and disposable cartridge is fabricated in PDMS and SU-8 by rapid prototyping. The device is designed in such a way that it addresses two major challenges of biosensors using microfluidics approaches. Firstly, the enzymatic membrane is deposited on top of the platinum electrodes via a microfluidic deposition channel from outside the cartridge. This decouples the membrane deposition from the cartridge fabrication and enables the user to decide when and with what mixture he wants to modify the electrode. Secondly, by using laminar sheath-flow of the sample and a buffer solution, a dynamic diffusion layer is created. The analyte has to diffuse through the buffer solution layer before it can reach the immobilized enzyme membrane on the electrode. Controlling of the thickness of the diffusion layer by variation of the flow-rate of the two layers enables the user to adjust the sensitivity and the linear region of the sensor. The point where the buffer and sample stream join proved critical in creating the laminar sheath-flow. Results of computational simulations considering fluid dynamics and diffusion are presented. The consistency of the device was investigated through detection of glucose and lactate and are in accordance with the CFD simulations. A sensitivity of 157 +/- 28 nA/mM for the glucose sensor and 79 +/- 12 nA/mM for the lactate sensor was obtained. The linear response range of these biosensors could be increased from initially 2 mM up to 15 mM with a limit of detection of 0.2 mM.