Poly(dimethylsiloxane)-based microchip for two-dimensional solid-phase extraction-capillary electrophoresis with an integrated electrospray emitter tip.

Abstract

A microchip in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) for in-line solid-phase extraction-capillary electrophoresis-electrospray ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SPE-CE-ESI-TOF-MS) has been developed and evaluated. The chip was fabricated in a novel one-step procedure where mixed PDMS was cast over steel wires in a mold. The removed wires defined 50-microm cylindrical channels. Fused-silica capillaries were inserted into the structure in a tight fit connection. The inner walls of the inserted fused-silica capillaries and the PDMS microchip channels were modified with a positively charged polymer, PolyE-323. The chip was fabricated in a two-level cross design. The channel at the lower level was packed with 5-microm hyper-cross-linked polystyrene beads acting as a SPE medium used for desalting. The upper level channel acted as a CE channel and ended in an integrated emitter tip coated with conducting graphite powder to facilitate the electrical contact for sheathless ESI. An overpressure continuously provided fresh CE electrolyte independently of the flows in the different levels. Further studies were carried out in order to investigate the electrophoretic and flow rate properties of the chip. Finally, six-peptide mixtures, in different concentrations, dissolved in physiological salt solution was injected, desalted, separated, and sprayed into the mass spectrometer for analysis with a limit of detection in femtomole levels.

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