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ABSTRACT: The off-line coupling of polymer microfluidics to MALDI-MS is presented using electrospray deposition. Using polycarbonate microfluidic chips with integrated hydrophobic membrane electrospray tips, peptides and proteins are deposited onto a stainless steel target followed by MALDI-MS analysis. Microchip electrospray deposition is found to yield excellent spatial control and homogeneity of deposited peptide spots, and significantly improved MALDI-MS spectral reproducibility compared to traditional target preparation methods. A detection limit of 3.5 fmol is demonstrated for angiotensin. Furthermore, multiple electrospray tips on a single chip provide the ability to simultaneously elute parallel sample streams onto a MALDI target for high-throughput multiplexed analysis. Using a three-element electrospray tip array with 150 microm spacing, the simultaneous deposition of bradykinin, fibrinopeptide, and angiotensin is achieved with no cross talk between deposited samples. In addition, in-line proteolytic digestion of intact proteins is successfully achieved during the electrospray process by binding trypsin within the electrospray membrane, eliminating the need for on-probe digestion prior to MALDI-MS. The technology offers promise for a range of microfluidic platforms designed for high-throughput multiplexed proteomic analyses in which simultaneous on-chip separations require an effective interface to MS.
Electrophoresis 11/2005; 26(19):3631-40. · 3.26 Impact Factor