Microsphere based continuous-flow immunoassay in a microfluidic device for determination of clinically relevant insulin levels

Noa Cohen, Pooja Sabhachandani, Saheli Sarkar, Lindy Kahanovitz, Norman Lautsch, Steven J. Russell, Tania Konry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper describes a miniaturized microsphere-based immunoassay integrated into a microfluidic device for rapid quantitation of insulin. Analysis of bionic pancreas studies have revealed that the rates of absorption of insulin analogs vary from patient to patient, and even within patients on different occasions. Thus development of an approach to monitor insulin continuously allows the pharmacokinetic characteristics of insulin analogs to be determined in real-time. The authors have developed a microsphere-based continuous flow assay in a microfluidic chip that allows for the detection of insulin within seconds with high sensitivity and specificity. The method was applied to near real-time monitoring of clinical samples. Calibration plot were established for different insulin analogs such as insulin aspart (Novolog), insulin lispro (Humalog), and regular human insulin (RHI) and the insulin detection limit was 0.26 ng.mL−1 (44 pM). This sensitivity allows to detect the fasting insulin levels of T1D patients, which are reported in the range of 50–180 pM (0.3–1 ng.mL−1), after treatment with subcutaneous insulin administration. This fast approach was also applied to sera collected in intervals from T1D patients after a bolus of insulin aspart delivery. The insulin profile obtained by this method is similar to the basal and peak insulin levels as determined using the standard non-continuous ELISA reference method. In our perception, this assay will improve healthcare by personalizing diagnostics for better clinical outcome and provide real-time feedback on sensing and actuation. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-841
Number of pages7
JournalMikrochimica Acta
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Bead-based assay
  • Bionic pancreas
  • Immunoassay
  • Insulin analogs
  • Microfluidic device
  • Real-time monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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