Sensitivity and limit of detection (LOD) enhancement are essential criteria for the development of ultrasensitive molecular sensors. Although various sensor types have been investigated to enhance sensitivity and LOD, analyte detection and its quantification are still challenging, particularly for protein-protein interactions with low association constants. To solve this problem, here, we used ion concentration polarization (ICP)-based preconcentration to increase the local concentration of analytes in a microfluidic platform for LOD improvement. This was the first demonstration of a microfluidic device with an integrated ICP preconcentrator and interdigitated microelectrode (IME) sensor to detect small changes in surface binding between antigens and antibodies. We detected the amyloid beta (Aβ) protein, an Alzheimer's disease marker, with low binding affinity to its antibodies by adopting ICP preconcentration phenomena. We demonstrated that a combination of ICP preconcentrator and IME sensor increased the LOD by 13.8-fold to femtomolar level (8.15 fM), which corresponds to a significant advance for clinical applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes