Author(s): Varghese SS, Zhu Y, Davis TJ, Trowell SC
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Abstract This review focuses on the use of Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) to monitor intra- and intermolecular reactions occurring in microfluidic reactors. Microfluidic devices have recently been used for performing highly efficient and miniaturised biological assays for the analysis of biological entities such as cells, proteins and nucleic acids. Microfluidic assays are characterised by nanolitre to femtolitre reaction volumes, which necessitates the adoption of a sensitive optical detection scheme. FRET serves as a strong 'spectroscopic ruler' for elucidating the tertiary structure of biomolecules, as the efficiency of the non-radiative energy transfer is extremely sensitive to nanoscale changes in the separation between donor and acceptor markers attached to the biomolecule of interest. In this review, we will review the implementation of various microfluidic assays which employ FRET for diverse applications in the biomedical field, along with the advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches. The future prospects for development of microfluidic devices incorporating FRET detection will be discussed.
This article was published in Lab Chip
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering and Bioelectronics