Multidimensional separation of chiral amino acid mixtures in a multilayered three-dimensional hybrid microfluidic/nanofluidic device

Bo Young Kim, Jing Yang, Maojun Gong, Bruce R. Flachsbart, Mark A. Shannon, Paul W. Bohn, Jonathan V. Sweedler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microscale total analysis systems (μTAS) allow highthroughput analyses by integrating multiple processes, parallelization, and automation. Here we combine unit operations of μTAS to create a device that can perform multidimensional separations using a three-dimensional hybrid microfluidic/nanofluidic device composed of alternating layers of patterned poly(methyl methacrylate) and nanocapillary array membranes constructed from nuclear track-etched polycarbonate. Two consecutive electrophoretic separations are performed, the first being an achiral separation followed by a chiral separation of a selected analyte band. Separation conditions are optimized for a racemic mixture of fluorescein-isothiocynatelabeled amino acids, serine and aspartic acid, chosen because there are endogenous D-forms of these amino acids in animals. The chiral separation is implemented using micellar electrokinetic chromatography using -cyclodextrin as the chiral selector and sodium taurocholate as the micelle-forming agent. Analyte separation is monitored by dual-beam laser-induced fluorescence detection. After separation in the first electrophoretic channel, the preselected analyte is sampled by the second-stage separation using an automated collection sequence with a zerocrossing algorithm. The controlled fluidic environment inherent to the three-dimensional architecture enables a series of separations in varying fluidic environments and allows sample stacking via different background electrolyte pH conditions. The ability to interface sequential separations, selected analyte capture, and other fluidic manipulations in the third dimension significantly improves the functionality of multilayer microfluidic devices. Many questions arise when investigating biological systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2715-2722
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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