Multichannel Mars Organic Analyzer (McMOA): Microfluidic Networks for the Automated in Situ Microchip Electrophoretic Analysis of Organic Biomarkers

Tuesday, November 9, 2010: 3:47 PM
Salon III (Hilton)
Thomas N. Chiesl, Merwan Benhabib, Amanda Stockton and Richard A. Mathies, Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

The goal of this work is to achieve autonomous routing and analysis of samples on redundant CE microchannels with negligible sample carryover. The development of microfluidic architectures that integrate automated metering and mixing of fluids for performing on chip reactions and serial dilutions is also discussed. We have successfully built and operated a new prototype instrument, the Multichannel Mars Organic Analyzer (McMOA), that tests key functional aspects required for in situ planetary exploration for organic compounds. The instrument uses a four-layer microchip containing eight CE analysis systems integrated with a microfluidic network for fluidic processing and includes a linear scanning optical excitation system, a charged-coupled device (CCD) fluorescence spectrometer detection system and a temperature controlled chip platform. We have demonstrated serial autonomous amino acid and PAH assays on the same chip. The same device and instrumentation is also capable of performing CE assays of organic sugars, aldehydes, ketones, and carboxylic acids. The CCD spectrometer was used to identify the unique fluorescence spectra of nine components in a PAH standard and then applied to the analysis of a sediment sample from Lake Erie. These results demonstrate the readiness of lab-on-a-chip CE electrophoresis technology to autonomously perform life detection experiments. While the microfluidics and instrumentation discussed here are oriented towards in situ planetary analysis, the engineering principles and results coincide with the development of successful portable rapid-analysis biomedical and environmental diagnostics.

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