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Issue 7, 2010
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Air-stable supported membranes for single-cell cytometry on PDMS microchips

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Protein-reinforced supported bilayer membranes (rSBMs) composed of phosphatidylcholine (PC), biotinPE and Neutravidin were used to coat hybrid microchips composed of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and glass. Since the coatings required a freshly oxidized, hydrophilic substrate, a novel method to rapidly connect reservoirs using plasma oxidation was first developed and found to support up to 5.2 N cm−2 (1.5 N) pull-off force. rSBMs were then assembled in the oxidized hydrophilic channels. The electroosmotic mobility (µeo) of rSBM-coated channels was measured over a 3 h time to evaluate the stability of the coatings for microchip electrophoresis. rSBM-coated microchips with a simple cross-design had excellent properties for microchip separations, yielding efficiencies of up to 700 000 plates m−1 for fluorescent dyes and peptides. The separation performance of rSBM and PC-coated channels was evaluated after repeatedly drying and rehydrating the channels. The separation efficiency of fluorescein on PC-coated devices decreased by 40% after one dehydration cycle and nearly 75% after 3 cycles. In contrast for rSBM-coated devices there was no significant change in the fluorescein efficiency until the third cycle (10% decreased efficiency). rSBM-coated channels were also markedly more stable when placed in a dehydrated state during long-term storage compared to PC-coated channels, and showed reduced chip failure and no reduction in performance for up to one month of dehydrated storage. Finally, rSBM-coated devices were used to perform single-cell cytometry. Microchips that had been dehydrated, stored two weeks, and rehydrated prior to use demonstrated similar performance to newly coated devices for the separation of fluorescein and carboxyfluorescein from single cells. Thus rSBM-coated devices were rugged withstanding electric fields, prolonged storage under dehydrated conditions, and biofouling by cellular constituents while maintaining excellent separation performance.

Graphical abstract: Air-stable supported membranes for single-cell cytometry on PDMS microchips

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Supplementary files

Article information

19 Oct 2009
23 Dec 2009
First published
11 Jan 2010

Lab Chip, 2010,10, 864-870
Article type

Air-stable supported membranes for single-cell cytometry on PDMS microchips

K. S. Phillips, K. M. Kang, L. Licata and N. L. Allbritton, Lab Chip, 2010, 10, 864
DOI: 10.1039/B921817C

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