This paper describes an integrated system combining microfluidic devices with electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-Q-TOF-MS) for monitoring cellular chemical release. To demonstrate the feasibility of this new system, the reported carnosine-protection process against Aβ42-induced glutamate released from PC12 cells, was monitored. Poly-L-lysine coated microchannels were used to culture cells. A multi-channel miniature extraction chip (MEC) was integrated into the design to remove salts and protein interference effects. ESI-Q-TOF-MS was employed to realize semi-quantitative and highly sensitive qualitative analysis. The protective effect of carnosine against Aβ42-induced neurotoxicity was evaluated under different conditions in microchannels in parallel. The secretion product analysis, carried out by ESI-Q-TOF-MS, was accomplished in 5 min using only 2.5 μL of solvent. Furthermore, we show that integrated microfluidic devices have significant potential for the analysis of cellular secretions, as well as for medical screening tests and for the diagnosis of specific diseases.
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