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Microchip-Based Assay Systems: Methods and Applications.

Microchip-Based Assay Systems:

Methods and Applications. Pierre

N. Floriano, editor. Totowa, NJ:

Humana Press, 2007, 229 pp;

(hardcover). ISBN 978-1-59745426-1

This is volume 385 in the long-established Methods in Molecular Biology series and is devoted to analytical microchips (lab-on-a-chip), one of the most actively developing areas in analytical chemistry and analytical biochemistry. The scope of analytical microchips spans microfluidic chips that allow control of microliter volumes of fluid, bioelectronic chips that incorporate both microfluidic and electronic control or detection components, and microarray chips formed from dense arrays of protein or nucleic acid reagents. Applications for each type of chip are presented among the 16 chapters in this book.

This volume places heavy emphasis on analytical microchips fabricated from polymers, such as polydimethylsiloxane, and the first 6 chapters describe applications for these chips in DNA isolation, separation, and purification; cell lysis; genotoxicity testing; leukocyte enumeration; and mRNA analysis for diagnosis of cervical cancer. Microchips can be fabricated from a range of materials including silicon and glass, but polymers offer some interesting advantages (e.g., ease of fabrication, surface properties), justifying the focus on this fabrication material. Bioelectronic chips are illustrated by a chip with interdigitated electrodes for impedimetric detection of DNA, chips that incorporate acoustic shear wave sensors for studying interaction of HIV-1 mRNA with peptides, and an electrochemical enzyme immunoassay chip that uses capillary electrophoresis--based separation of bound and free fractions followed by electrochemical detection of the alkaline phosphatase label. The electronic taste chip is a particularly intriguing lab-on-a-chip application. This chip is based on an array of siliconmachined microchambers that each contain a 250-280-[micro]m diameter agarose bead coated with a capture antibody, and its use is exemplified by an IL-6 assay. Applications of various types of microarrays are presented, including protein microarrays for the study of protein--protein interactions, protein recognition, cytokine assays, IgE antibodies to food allergens, and glycoproteins and DNA microarrays for studying molecular signatures in cervical cancers.

The stated overall purpose of this book is "to provide a 'taste' of what can be envisioned and realized with microchip approaches." The book achieves this goal through the diversity of chips and analytical applications the editor, Pierre Floriano, has selected for inclusion. This accomplishment is buttressed by the style of this book, in which each chapter includes thorough descriptions of experimental details and explanatory notes for both chip fabrication and overall analytical procedures. The chapters are well illustrated and easy to read. One minor issue, however, is that the description of the book on the back cover is slightly misleading. It states that the book "explores recent progress in the microelectronics arena." Certainly, microchip science owes a large debt to the microelectronics industry for many of the technologies that have enabled microchip development. However, many other technologies and developments have contributed to the current success of the lab-on-a-chip concept.

This book will provide clinical chemists with a useful snapshot of the scope of current chip-based analytical methods and, through its experimental sections, the information needed to explore the implementation of chip-based technology for the type of analytical problems faced in the clinical laboratory.

Grant/Funding Support: None declared.

Financial Disclosures: None declared.

--Larry J. Kricka

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine University of Pennsylvania Medical Center Philadelphia, PA Address correspondence to the author at: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine University of Pennsylvania Medical Center Philadelphia, PA 19104

DOI: 10.1373/clinchem.2008.103283
COPYRIGHT 2008 American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:Kricka, Larry J.
Publication:Clinical Chemistry
Date:May 1, 2008
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