Evolution Cluster Faculty Search Seminar: "Analysis of Organic Biomarkers Using Integrated Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis Systems for In Situ Extraterrestrial Investigations"

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 10:00 - 11:30
Amanda Stockton, California Institute of Technology

Microcapillary electrophoresis (CE) coupled with laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) detection enables rapid, automated, and extremely sensitive analyses of organic biomarkers (down to 70 pM or sub pptr). I present recent work expanding compound class coverage of CE-LIF to include amines, amino acids, dipeptides, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. A first-generation device enables automated sample processing and analysis of amino acids.  Optimization of microvalve layout and operational protocols for contamination-free rapid microfluidic processing leads to the development of a set of design rules. Based on these rules, I present the development of a programmable microfluidic device that enables rapid automated fluorescent derivatization, serial dilution, spiking with standards, and CE analysis of all desired classes of molecules. Storage conditions of reagents are optimized and characterized, including hydrolysis kinetics of the amine-reactive fluorescent probe Pacific Blue succinimidyl ester. Reagents stored on-chip in the solid form and reconstituted prior to analysis yields automated on-chip sample processing results from the hibernation-state system that are comparable with manual results (down to 3% difference).  This work represents major technological advancement in microfluidic chemical analysis and miniaturization of supporting hardware toward in situ robotic missions.

Lynch Lecture Hall (Chemistry)