Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) is one of the most important microsystem applications with promise for use in microanalysis, drug development, diagnosis of illness and diseases etc. LOC typically consists of two main components: microfluidics and sensors. Integration of microfluidics and sensors on a single chip can greatly enhance the efficiency of biochemical reactions and the sensitivity of detection, increase the reaction/detection speed, and reduce the potential cross-contamination, fabrication time and cost etc. However, the mechanisms generally used for microfluidics and sensors are different, making the integration of the two main components complicated and increases the cost of the systems. A lab-on-a-chip system based on a single surface acoustic wave (SAW) actuation mechanism is proposed. SAW devices were fabricated on nanocrystalline ZnO thin films deposited on Si substrates using sputtering. Coupling of acoustic waves into a liquid induces acoustic streaming and motion of droplets. A streaming velocity up to ∼ 5cm/s and droplet pumping speeds of ∼lcm/s were obtained. It was also found that a higher order mode wave, the Sezawa wave is more effective in streaming and transportation of microdroplets. The ZnO SAW sensor has been used for prostate antigen/antibody biorecognition systems, demonstrated the feasibility of using a single actuation mechanism for lab-on-a-chip applications.