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Anal Chem. 2001 Jun 1;73(11):2648-55.

Integrated microfluidic system enabling protein digestion, peptide separation, and protein identification.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park 20742, USA.


An integrated platform is presented for rapid and sensitive protein identification by on-line protein digestion and analysis of digested proteins using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry or transient capillary isotachophoresis/capillary zone electrophoresis with mass spectrometry detection. A miniaturized membrane reactor is constructed by fabricating the microfluidic channels on a poly(dimethylsiloxane) substrate and coupling the microfluidics to a poly(vinylidene fluoride) porous membrane with the adsorbed trypsin. On the basis of he large surface area-to-volume ratio of porous membrane media, adsorbed trypsin onto the poly(vinylidene fluoride) membrane is employed for achieving ultrahigh catalytic turnover. The extent of protein digestion in a miniaturized membrane reactor can be directly controlled by the residence time of protein analytes inside the trypsin-adsorbed membrane, the reaction temperature, and the protein concentration. The resulting peptide mixtures can either be directly analyzed using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry or further concentrated and resolved by electrophoretic separations prior to the mass spectrometric analysis. This microfluidic system enables rapid identification of proteins in minutes instead of hours, consumes very little sample (nanogram or less), and provides on-line interface with upstream protein separation schemes for the analysis of complex protein mixtures such as cell lysates.

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