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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 17 (2012) pp 157-162
DOI 10.1007/s00897122436

Protein Immobilization using Microfluidics: A Lab-on-a-Chip Experiment

Ashish Kapoor, Jieqian Zhang, Jerrod A. Henderson, and Paul J. A. Kenis,*

Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, and Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 600 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana IL, 61801, USA;
Received July 16, 2011. Accepted January 29, 2912.

Published: 25 August 2012

Abstract. A lab-on-a-chip experiment that demonstrates the creation of immobilized protein patterns using a microfluidic approach is described here. Microscopic glass slides are functionalized with a self-assembled monolayer (SAM). Then a microfluidic platform comprising of microchannels is used to deliver the protein to a confined area on the glass substrate. Protein reacts with the SAM to create a covalent bond, thereby immobilizing the protein on the substrate in a pattern that corresponds to the design of microchannels. Immunofluorescence can be used to visualize the immobilized protein patterns after removal of the microchannels. The experiment is specifically aimed at teaching students fundamental concepts from a variety of disciplines including laminar fluid flow in microchannels, molecular self-assembly driven by van der Waals forces, and chemical surface modification techniques. Also, we elaborate on potential applications for these patterned surfaces.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; biochemistry; protein immobilization; self-assembled monolayers; fluorescence

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (387 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Experimental protocol and vendor information for critical laboratory supplies is provided (66 KB).

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