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This invention describes a method of using controlled fluidic forces to improve the performance of a biochemical binding assay where a target molecule is captured by specific molecular recognition onto a substrate surface with an affinity coating, and then labeled with a detectable micrometer-scale particle using a second specific molecular recognition reaction with the target. By using specific ranges of label sizes and laminar flow conditions, controlled fluidic forces can be applied to the label particles in order to selectively remove molecules bound to a surface according to their binding strength, and thereby increase the ratio of specifically bound labels to more weakly attached non-specifically bound labels. This method can be used with a wide variety of label types and associated detection methods, improving the sensitivity and selectivity of a broad range of binding assays.