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Recent advances in miniaturization—The role of microchip electrophoresis in clinical analysis

Authors

  • Elizabeth Guihen

    Corresponding author
    1. Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) and the Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI), Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, University of Limerick, Ireland
    • Correspondence: Dr. Elizabeth Guihen, Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) and the Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI), Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland

      E-mail: elizabeth.guihen@ul.ie

      Fax: +353-61-213529

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  • Colour Online: See the article online to view Figs. 6, 9, and 10 in colour.

Abstract

This review is a follow-up from the last review published in 2012 that covers the same topic [22]. Its aim is to cover new innovations and developments since then, involving the role of microchip capillary electrophoresis (MCE) in clinical analysis. MCE has shown great promise in separation science, as it's a state-of-the-art analytical separation technique that offers speed, portability, reduced sample, and reagent requirements, repeatability, can be used online or offline, and can be coupled with many kinds of analytical detectors. It is particularly important in clinical analysis, as it offers online continuous monitoring, can handle small volumes of highly complex biological samples due to its powerful discriminating ability, and it facilitates point-of-care testing. Also microchip separation platforms have been used for sample clean-up, filtration, derivatization, separation and detection, acting as multifunctional platforms ideal for minute sample volumes. In recent times the clinical world has witnessed a need for rapid turnaround times on analysis of very complex samples, and so there has been a shift toward point-of-care testing and other miniaturized analytical techniques as a favorable solution. Research developments in this area have been catalyzed by rapid strides in knowledge in the areas of proteomics, metabolomics, and molecular biology in the quest to understand the physiology of cells, proteins, genes, molecular interactions, and the pathophysiology of disease. Herein, we present selected examples detailing the use of MCE in some of the latest and most exciting clinical applications.

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