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Anal Chem. 2008 Jun 15;80(12):4757-60. doi: 10.1021/ac800307a. Epub 2008 May 20.

Suspended microchannel resonators for ultralow volume universal detection.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Universal detectors that maintain high sensitivity as the detection volume is reduced to the subnanoliter scale can enhance the utility of miniaturized total analysis systems (mu-TAS). Here the unique scaling properties of the suspended microchannel resonator (SMR) are exploited to show universal detection in a 10 pL analysis volume with a density detection limit of approximately 1 microg/cm (3) (10 Hz bandwidth) and a dynamic range of 6 decades. Analytes with low UV extinction coefficients such as polyethylene glycol (PEG) 8 kDa, glucose, and glycine are measured with molar detection limits of 0.66, 13.5, and 31.6 microM, respectively. To demonstrate the potential for real-time monitoring, gel filtration chromatography was used to separate different molecular weights of PEG as the SMR acquired a chromatogram by measuring the eluate density. This work suggests that the SMR could offer a simple and sensitive universal detector for various separation systems from liquid chromatography to capillary electrophoresis. Moreover, since the SMR is itself a microfluidic channel, it can be directly integrated into mu-TAS without compromising overall performance.

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