Microfluidic Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis with In-situ Immunoblotting for Native Protein Analysis
He, M.; Herr, A.E. “Microfluidic Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis with In-situ Immunoblotting for Native Protein Analysis.” Analytical Chemistry, 2009, 81, 8177-84.
We introduce an automated immunoblotting method that reports protein electrophoretic mobility and identity in a single streamlined microfluidic assay. Native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) was integrated with subsequent in situ immunoblotting. Integration of three PA gel elements into a glass microfluidic chip achieved multiple functions, including (1) rapid protein separation via on-chip PAGE, (2) directed electrophoretic transfer of resolved protein peaks to an in-line blotting membrane, and (3) high-efficiency identification of the transferred proteins using antibody-functionalized blotting membranes. In-chip blotting membranes were photopatterned with biotinylated antibody using streptavidin polyacrylamide (PA) thus yielding postseparation sample analysis. No pressure driven flow or fluid valving was required, as the assay was operated by electrokinetically programmed control. A model sample of fluorescently labeled BSA (negative control), alpha-actinin, and prostate specific antigen (PSA) was selected to develop and characterize the assay. A 5 min assay time was required without operator intervention. Optimization of the blotting membrane (geometry, operation, and composition) yielded a detection limit of approximately 0.05 pg (alpha-actinin peak). An important additional blotting fabrication strategy was developed and characterized to allow vanishingly small antibody consumption (approximately 1 microg), as well as end-user customization of the blotting membrane after device fabrication and storage. This first report of rapid on-chip protein PAGE integrated with in situ immunoblotting forms the basis for a sensitive, automated approach applicable to numerous forms of immunoblotting.