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Lab Chip. 2006 Sep;6(9):1213-9. Epub 2006 Jul 24.

An integrated digital microfluidic chip for multiplexed proteomic sample preparation and analysis by MALDI-MS.

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  • 1Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


To realize multiplexed sample preparation on a digital microfluidic chip for high-throughput Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-MS), several fluidic functions need to be integrated. These include the generation of multiple droplets from a reservoir and parallel in-line sample purification. In this paper, we develop two critical new functions in handling protein solutions and standard proteomic reagents with electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD) actuation, leading to an integrated chip for multiplexed sample preparation for MALDI-MS. The first is a voltage sequence designed to generate a series of droplets from each of the three reservoirs--proteomic sample, rinsing fluid, and MALDI reagents. It is the first time that proteomic reagents have been dispensed using EWOD in an air (as opposed to oil) environment. The second is a box-in-box electrode pattern developed to allow droplet passing over dried sample spots, making the process of in-line sample purification robust for parallel processing. As a result, parallel processing of multiple sample droplets is demonstrated on the integrated EWOD-MALDI-MS chip, an important step towards high-throughput MALDI-MS. The MS results, collected directly from the integrated devices, are of good quality, suggesting that the tedious process of sample preparation can be automated on-chip for MALDI-MS applications as well as other high-throughput proteomics applications.

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