Do-it-yourself microelectrophoresis chips with integrated sample recovery



We present a microelectrophoresis chip that is simple to fabricate using the µfluidic tectonics (µFT) platform (Beebe, D. J. et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2000, 97, 13488–13493; Agarwal, A. K. et al.,. J. Micromech. Microeng. 2006, 16, 332–340). The device contains a removable capillary insert (RCI) for easy sample collection after separation (Atencia, J. et al.,. Lab Chip 2006, DOI: 10. 1039/b514068d). Device construction is accomplished in less than 20 min without specialized equipment traditionally associated with microelectrophoresis chip construction. µFT was used to build a PAGE device utilizing two orthogonal microchannels. One channel performs standard separations, while the second channel serves as an access point to remove bands of interest from the chip via the RCI. The RCI contains an integrated electrode that facilitates the removal of bands using electrokinetic techniques. The device was characterized using prestained proteins (Pierce BlueRanger and TriChromRanger). Samples were loaded into the microelectrophoresis device via a standard micropipette. An electrical field of 40 V/cm was used to separate and collect the proteins. The microPAGE device is simple to fabricate, benefits from microscale analysis, and includes an on-chip collection scheme that interfaces the macroworld with the microworld.