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Electrophoresis. 2012 Jul;33(13):1996-2004. doi: 10.1002/elps.201100442.

Small-angle optical deflection from collinear configuration for sensitive detection in microfluidic systems.

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  • 1College of Chemistry and College of Chemical Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu, P. R. China.


This paper describes a novel detection system based on small-angle optical deflection from the collinear configuration of a microfluidic chip. In this system, the incident light beam was focused on the microchannel through the edge of a lens, resulting in a small deflection angle that deviated 20° from the collinear configuration. The emitted fluorescence was collected through the center of the same lens and delivered to a photomultiplier tube in the vertical direction; the reflection light of the chip plate was kept away from the detector. In contrast to traditional confocal and nonconfocal laser-induced fluorescence detection systems, background levels resulting from scattered excitation light, reflection and refraction from the microchip was significantly eliminated. Significant enhancement of the signal-to-noise ratio was obtained by shaping a laser beam that combined an attenuator with a spectral filter to optimize laser power and the dimensions of the laser beam. FITC and FITC-labeled amino acid were used as model analytes to demonstrate the performance sensitivity, separation efficiency, and reproducibility of this detection system by using a hybrid polydimethylsiloxane/glass microfluidic device. The limit of detection of FITC was estimated to be 2 pM (0.55 zmol) (S/N = 3). Furthermore, the single cell analysis for the determination of intracellular glutathione in a single 3T3 mouse fibroblast cell was demonstrated. The results suggest that the proposed optical arrangements will be promising for development of sensitive, low-cost microfluidic systems.

© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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