Monolithic porous polymers have been prepared by photoinitiated polymerization within the channels of a microfluidic device and used for on-chip solid-phase extraction and preconcentration. The preparation of the monolithic material with hydrophobic and ionizable surface chemistries is easily achieved by copolymerization of butyl methacrylate with ethylene dimethacrylate, or 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate and [2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl]trimethylammonium chloride with ethylene dimethacrylate, respectively. The porous properties, and consequently the flow resistance, of the monolithic device are controlled by the use of a mixture of hexane and methanol as a porogenic mixture. This mixture was designed to meet the specific requirements for pore formation within macroporous monoliths useful in the microfluidic formats. The low flow resistance enables high flow rates of up to 10 μL/min, which corresponds to a linear flow velocity of 50 mm/s and far exceeds the flow velocities typical of the common analytical microchips. The function of the monolithic concentration device was first demonstrated using very dilute solutions of Coumarin 519. The performance in a more realistic application was then demonstrated with the enrichment of a hydrophobic tetrapeptide and also of green fluorescent protein for which an increase in concentration by a factor as high as 103 was achieved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry