Navigation Links
'No muss, no fuss' miniaturized analysis for complex samples developed
Date:11/18/2009

The goal of an integrated, miniaturized laboratory analysis system, also known as a "lab-on-a-chip," is simple: sample in, answer out. However, researchers wanting to use these microfluidic devices to analyze complex solutions containing particulates or other contaminating materials often find that the first part of the process isn't so easy. Effective sample preparation from these solutions can be laborious, expensive and time-consuming, involving complicated laboratory methods that must be performed by skilled technicians. This can significantly diminish the benefits associated with using miniaturized analytical techniques. Recent work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) could help change that.

NIST researchers Elizabeth Strychalski and David Ross, in collaboration with Alyssa Henry of Applied Research Associates Inc. (Alexandria, Va.), have developed a novel and simple way to analyze samples that are complex mixtures, such as whole milk, blood serum and dirt in solution. In a paper published recently in Analytical Chemistry,* the team describes its latest enhancement to a NIST-developed separation technique called gradient elution moving boundary electrophoresis (GEMBE) (see "New Miniaturized Device for Lab-on-a-Chip Separations" in NIST Tech Beat, Jan. 19, 2007).

GEMBE relies on a combination of electrophoresis and variable pressure-driven flow through a microchannel. Electrophoresis uses electricity to push a mixture in solution through a channel, forcing the individual components to separate as they move at specific rates based on their individual properties, such as size and electrical charge. Complex samples can be difficult to separate cleanly because components in these samples (for example, the fat globules in milk or proteins in blood) can "foul" microfluidic channels in a way that prevents reliable detection of the desired sample components.

The new technique solves this problem by pumping a buffer solution under controlled pressure in the opposite direction. This opposing pressure flow acts as a "fluid gate" between the sample reservoir and the microchannel. Gradually reducing the pressure of the counterflow opens the "gate" a little bit at a time. A specific sample component is detected when the pressure flow becomes weak enoughwhen the "gate" opens wide enoughthat the component's electrophoretic motion pushes it against the pressure flow and into the channel for detection. In this way, different components enter the channel at different times based on their particular electrophoretic motion. Most importantly, the channel doesn't become fouled because the unwanted material in the sample is held out during the analysis by the pressure flow.

In their paper, the researchers validated their GEMBE analysis technique by testing it with solutions of whole milk, dirt, estuarine sediment, coal fly ash, pulverized leaves and blood serum. In all casesand without the muss and fuss of pre-analysis sample preparationthe system was able to reproducibly separate and quantify specific components from the solutions, including potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, lithium and melamine.

"GEMBE is well-suited to the microfluidic analysis of 'real-world' samples," Strychalski says. "We have shown that the method can handle solutions containing particulates, proteins and other materials that would confound the majority of other microfluidic techniques."

Because of its ability to easily and rapidly characterize complex mixtures with minimal preparation, the researchers believe that GEMBE shows enormous promise for diverse applications, such as monitoring contaminants in food or water supplies, determining nutrient levels in soil, detecting biochemical warfare agents, and diagnosing medical conditions. The next steps, they say, are to miniaturize the desktop equipment now used in the system and integrate all of the parts to develop a true "lab-on-a-chip" field analyzer that can rival the effectiveness of a full-scale facility.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael E. Newman
michael.newman@nist.gov
301-975-3025
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Micro microwave does pinpoint cooking for miniaturized labs
2. Ginkgo SRMs: Tools for product analysis/quality
3. DNA analysis shows true dispersal of protozoa
4. Interacting protein theory awaits test from new neutron analysis tools
5. Analysis of breast and colon cancer genes finds many areas of differences between tumors
6. Tumor genome analysis unveils new insights into lung cancer
7. Powerful integration of lipid metabolic profiling with gene expression analysis
8. Human clones: New U.N. analysis lays out worlds choices
9. More comprehensive analysis of Klamath River basin needed to aid decision makers
10. Analysis calls for medical device information to better serve patients and doctors
11. Avian origins: new analysis confirms ancient beginnings
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'No muss, no fuss' miniaturized analysis for complex samples developed
(Date:1/4/2017)... thousands of attendees at this year,s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ... devices and services, will be featuring its new line of ULTRA CONNECT ... special CES Exhibit Suite , the new upper arm and wrist smart ... product platform.  Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , Dec. 20, 2016  As ... all levels, 23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, recently released ... Only Me . The book focuses on the topics ... the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) taught in elementary school ... the second in a series by illustrator Ariana Killoran ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... 2016   Valencell , the leading innovator ... STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving ... today the launch of a new, highly accurate ... includes ST,s compact SensorTile turnkey multi-sensor ... sensor system. Together, SensorTile and Benchmark deliver the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... Cumberland Foreside, Maine (PRWEB) , ... January 17, ... ... to announce the addition of Rheumatoid Factor (RF) to its VALIDATE® SP2 calibration ... and Rheumatoid Factor in a human serum base. Each VALIDATE® SP2 kit is ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... DIEGO , Jan. 17, 2017  An ... School of Medicine and St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen ... for peripheral neuropathy, an unmet health need affecting ... the Journal of Clinical Investigation, their results identify ... that prevent and reverse neuronal injury in animal ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... 2017   Pulmatrix, Inc . (NASDAQ: ... inhaled therapies to address serious pulmonary diseases, today announced ... the lungs of CF patients, PUR1900, has been designated ... U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Under ... the development of novel drugs against important pathogens, Pulmatrix ...
(Date:1/17/2017)...  Only nine percent of U.S. consumers believe pharmaceutical ... 16 percent believe health insurance companies do, according to ... of U.S. adults believe health care providers (such as ... hospitals (23%). "We are in the midst ... , vice president of reputation management and public affairs ...
Breaking Biology Technology: