Microfluidic systems have shown unequivocal performance improvements over conventional bench-top assays across a range of performance metrics. For example, specific advances have been made in reagent consumption, throughput, integration of multiple assay steps, assay automation, and multiplexing capability. For heterogeneous systems, controlled immobilization of reactants is essential for reliable, sensitive detection of analytes. In most cases, protein immobilization densities are maximized, while native activity and conformation are maintained. Immobilization methods and chemistries vary significantly depending on immobilization surface, protein properties, and specific assay goals. In this review, we present trade-offs considerations for common immobilization surface materials. We overview immobilization methods and chemistries, and discuss studies exemplar of key approaches-here with a specific emphasis on immunoassays and enzymatic reactors. Recent "smart immobilization" methods including the use of light, electrochemical, thermal, and chemical stimuli to attach and detach proteins on demand with precise spatial control are highlighted. Spatially encoded protein immobilization using DNA hybridization for multiplexed assays and reversible protein immobilization surfaces for repeatable assay are introduced as immobilization methods. We also describe multifunctional surface coatings that can perform tasks that were, until recently, relegated to multiple functional coatings. We consider the microfluidics literature from 1997 to present and close with a perspective on future approaches to protein immobilization.