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April 23rd, 2008
How does trapping a nanoparticle in a microdevice affect its reactions? US scientists are answering this question thanks to a straightforward method using fluorescent tags.
Meghan Caulum and Charles Henry at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, US, have developed what they say is 'a simple, inexpensive way to monitor reactions at the surface of magnetic particles within a microfluidic device.' The researchers used their method to look at reaction rates in the system.
Using small magnetic particles in microfluidic systems has great potential in chemical synthesis and biological techniques such as immunoassays, declare Caulum and Henry. But few researchers so far have studied how reaction rates at the particle surfaces differ in microfluidic devices from those in solution. Caulum and Henry say that understanding the processes involved is important when trying to optimise previously solution-based assays on-chip.
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