- Microfluidic pressure driven liquid chromatography of biologically relevant samples
- Volume | Issue number
- 75 | 21-22
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)
An overview of the literature regarding the most recent and innovative developments in microfluidic devices for pressure-driven chromatographic separations is given, with a focus on proteomics and metabolomics applications. The applications can be considered as the main driving force for the developments in this research field, since they put high demands on the analytical technology such as for throughput, efficiency, and sensitivity and for the possibilities to interface with mass spectrometry. The developments are evaluated based on the feasibility for use in work flows for the analysis of biologically relevant samples. The literature up to the first half of 2011 is covered. Electrophoretic separations are not within the scope of this review. Several strategies have been described to obtain a retentive phase in microfluidic channels. Open channels with the stationary phase bound to the walls appear to be relatively easy to make. However, the retention in such channels is generally very low for separations of relevant samples. Microfabrication of perfectly ordered topographic structures is the most innovative of the methods discussed for the creation of stationary phases in narrow channels. Several groups work on the improvement of the surface-to-volume ratio in such channels, using different methods, and the developments towards real applications are promising. Channels packed with spherical particles and in situ polymerized monoliths for pressure-driven separations are the most frequently applied. Microfluidic devices with an integrated injection system, a (packed) separation column and a spray tip for coupling to a mass spectrometer are already commercially available, and used in practice in proteomics and metabolomics. Finally, the inherent advantages of microfluidic devices for multidimensional separations have been shown in practice in a number of studies. In these studies, pressure-driven chromatography is coupled (in series or multiplexed) to an electrophoretic separation method. The high peak capacity of such 2-dimensional separations has been shown.
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