Microfluidic chips combined with surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) offer an outstanding platform for rapid and high-sensitivity chemical analysis. However, it is nontrivial to conveniently form nanoparticle aggregrates (as SERS-active spots for SERS detection) in microchannels in a well-controlled manner. Here, we present a rapid, highly sensitive and label-free analytical technique for determining bovine serum albumin (BSA) on a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) microfluidic chip using SERS. A modified PDMS pneumatic valve and nanopost arrays at the bottom of the fluidic microchannel are used for reversibly trapping gold nanoparticles to form gold aggregates, creating SERS-active spots for Raman detection. We fabricated a chip that consisted of a T-shaped fluidic channel and two modified pneumatic valves, which was suitable for fast loading of samples. Quantitative analysis of BSA is demonstrated with the measured peak intensity at 1,615 cm -1 in the surface-enhanced Raman spectra. With our microfluidic chip, the detection limit of Raman can reach as low as the picomolar level, comparable to that of normal mass spectrometry.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Gold nanoparticles
- Highly sensitive detection
- Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy