Development of Chip-Based Microfluidic Devices for Protein Analysis

Nicole Y. Morgan, Paul Smith, Terry M. Phillips, Tom Pohida
National Institutes of Health
Michael Gaitan, Laurie Locascio
National Institute of Standards and Technology

This newly formed NIH/NIST collaboration seeks to develop chip-based microfluidic devices to be used in multi-analyte immunoaffinity capture and detection of proteins. The immediate motivation is an epidemiological study of the immune response to the Herpes Papilloma Virus (HPV), for which the simultaneous isolation of multiple proteins from microliter samples of cervical secretions is required. This study seeks to find correlaations between the expressions of specific proteins in the cervix and the probability of developing cervical cancer. Using the microfabrication facilities at NIST, we are able to make micrometer-scale glass-encapsulated microfluidic systems with any desired two-dimensional configuration. We have already demonstrated both pressure-driven and electrokinetic flow of biologically useful buffers in these channels. The prototype devices use a serpentine pattern; in the next stages, antibodies will be bound to the channels, and the devices will be incorporated into an optical detection setup. The channel device architecture has several advantages over existing array technology: the proteins are detected by single-point capture, and the channels with the bound antibodies can be reused. Similar microfluidic channels could be developed for a variety of scientific and clinical applications.