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Numerous studies have addressed the challenges of implementing miniaturized microfluidic platforms for chemical and biological separation applications. However, the integration of real time detection schemes capable of providing valuable sample information under continuous, ultra low volume flow regimes has not fully been addressed. In this report we present a chip based chromatography system comprising of a pillar array separation column followed by a reagent channel for passive mixing of a silver colloidal solution into the eluent stream to enable surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) detection. Our design is the first integrated chip based microfluidic device to combine pressure driven separation capability with real time SERS detection. With this approach we demonstrate the ability to collect distinctive SERS spectra with or without complete resolution of chromatographic bands. Computational fluidic dynamic (CFD) simulations are used to model the diffusive mixing behaviour and velocity profiles of the two confluent streams in the microfluidic channels. We evaluate the SERS spectral band intensity and chromatographic efficiency of model analytes with respect to kinetic factors as well as signal acquisition rates. Additionally, we discuss the use of a pluronic modified silver colloidal solution as a means of eliminating contamination generally caused by nanoparticle adhesion to channel surfaces.
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