In this paper, we present a microfluidic device fabricated with a simple and inexpensive process allowing rapid filtering of peptides from a complex mixture. The polymer microfluidic device can be used for sample preparation in biological applications. The device is fabricated by micromilling and solvent assisted bonding, in which a microdialysis membrane (cut-off of 12-14 kDa) is sandwiched in between an upper and a bottom microfluidic chamber. An external frame connects the microfluidic device to external tubes, microvalves and syringe pumps. Bonding strength and interface sealing are pneumatically tested. Microfluidic protocols are also described by using the presented device to filter a sample composed of specific peptides (MW 1553.73 Da, at a concentration of 1.0 ng/μl) derived from the BRCA1 protein, a tumor-suppressor molecule which plays a pivotal role in the development of breast cancer, and albumin (MW 66.5 kDa, at a concentration of 35 μg/μl), the most represented protein in human plasma. The filtered samples coming out from the microfluidic device were subsequently deposited on a SERS (surface enhanced Raman scattering) substrate for further analysis by Raman spectroscopy. By using this approach, we were able to sort the small peptides from the bigger and highly concentrated protein albumin and to detect them by using a label-free technique at a resolution down to 1.0 ng/μl.
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics