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An Aptameric Microfluidic System for Specific Purification, Enrichment, and Mass Spectrometric Detection of Biomolecules

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6 Author(s)
Thai Huu Nguyen ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Columbia Univ., New York, NY, USA ; Renjun Pei ; Chunmei Qiu ; Jingyue Ju
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We present an innovative microfluidic system that accomplishes specific capture, enrichment, and isocratic elution of biomolecular analytes with coupling to label-free mass spectrometric detection. Analytes in a liquid phase are specifically captured and enriched via their affinity binding to aptamers, which are immobilized on microbeads packed inside a microchamber. Exploiting thermally induced reversible disruption of aptamer-analyte binding via on-chip temperature control with an integrated heater and temperature sensor, the captured analytes are released into the liquid phase and then isocratically eluted and transferred via a microfluidic flow gate for detection by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). The utility of the device is demonstrated using adenosine monophosphate (AMP) as a model analyte. Experimental results indicate that the device is capable of purifying and enriching the analyte from a sample mixed with nonspecific analytes and contaminated with salts. In addition, thermally induced analyte release is performed at modest temperatures (45degC), and mass spectra obtained from MALDI-MS demonstrate successful detection of AMP at concentrations as low as 10 nM following enrichment by consecutive infusion of a diluted sample.

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Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 6 )