American Chemical Society
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Accelerated Particle-Based Target CaptureThe Roles of Volume Transport and Near-Surface Alignment

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-02-19, 23:30 authored by Alexander van Reenen, Arthur M. de Jong, Menno W. J. Prins
The upcoming generations of high-sensitive and miniaturized biosensing systems need target capture methods that are as efficient and as rapid as possible, with targets ranging from molecules to cells. Capture of the targets can be achieved using particles coated with affinity molecules, but there are still fundamental questions as to the processes that limit the association rates. In this paper we quantify and compare the reaction rates of particle-based target capture with different types of actuation, namely (i) passive thermal transport, (ii) fluid agitation by vortex mixing, and (iii) actively rotating particles. In the experiments, we use fluorescent nanoparticles as targets which are biochemically captured by magnetic microparticles, and the capture efficiency is quantified using fluorescence microscopy with single target resolution. The data unravel the contributions of volume transport, near-surface alignment, and the chemical reaction to the overall rate constant of association. Vortex mixing versus passive transport gives an increase of the reaction rate constant by more than an order of magnitude, implying that the encounter frequency as well as the near-surface alignment probability are increased. The importance of near-surface alignment is underscored by the data of active particle rotation; the binding probability per encounter is 4-fold enhanced on rotating capture particles. We discuss the implications of our results for different biological systems and for the development of novel actuation methods in particle-based target capture.