Disclosed are devices for detecting the presence of a preselected analyte in a fluid sample. The devices comprise a substrate microfabricated to define a sample inlet port, and a mesoscale flow system that includes a sample flow channel extending from the inlet port. The mesoscale flow system further includes an analyte detection region in fluid communication with the flow channel comprised of a binding moiety for specifically binding the analyte. The detection region is constructed with a mesoscale dimension sufficiently small to enhance binding of the binding moiety and the analyte. The binding moiety may be immobilized in the detection region. The mesoscale detection systems of the invention may be used in a wide range of applications, including the detection of cells or macromolecules, or for monitoring reactions or cell culture growth.