Instrument miniaturization is one of the critical issues to improve sensitivity, speed, throughput, and to reduce the cost of analysis. Microfluidics possesses the ability to handle small sample amounts, with minimal concerns related to sample loss and cross-contamination, problems typical for standard fluidic manipulations. Moreover, the native properties of microfluidics provide the potential for high-density, parallel sample processing, and high-throughput analysis. Recently, the coupling of microfluidic devices to mass spectrometry, especially electrospray ionization (ESI) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI), has attracted an increasing interest and produced tremendous achievements. The interfaces between microfluidics and mass spectrometry are one of the primary focused problems. In this review, we summarize the latest achievements since 2008 in the field of the technologies and applications in the combining of microfluidics with ESI-MS and MALDI-MS. The integration of several analytical functions on a microfluidic device such as sample pretreatment and separations before sample introduction into the mass spectrometer is also discussed.
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