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Anal Chem. 2003 Aug 1;75(15):3758-64.

High-efficiency, two-dimensional separations of protein digests on microfluidic devices.

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  • 1Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PO Box 2008, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6142, USA.


High-efficiency, two-dimensional separations of tryptic digests were achieved using glass microfluidic devices. Following micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC) separations in a 19.6-cm-long serpentine channel, the peptides were rapidly sampled into a 1.3-cm-long second-dimension channel, where they were separated by capillary electrophoresis (CE). The turns in the serpentine channel were asymmetrically tapered to minimize geometrical contributions to band broadening and to provide ample channel length for high-efficiency chromatographic separations. Analysis of rhodamine B injections routinely produced plate numbers of 230000 and 40000 in the first (MEKC) and second (CE) dimensions, respectively, corresponding to plate heights of 0.9 and 0.3 microm. The electric field strengths were 200 V/cm for MEKC and 2400 V/cm for CE. In analysis times less than 15 min, two-dimensional separation of bovine serum albumin tryptic digest produced a peak capacity of 4200 (110 in the first dimension and 38 in the second dimension). The system was used to identify a peptide from a tryptic digest of ovalbumin using standard addition and to distinguish between tryptic digests of human and bovine hemoglobin.

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