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Automated electrophoresis on a chip

Automated electrophoresis on a chip. Automated analysis is necessary for increased laboratory throughput. DNA and protein analysis has traditionally been performed using slab gel electrophoresis. However, agarose slab gel and SDS-PAGE methodologies are time-consuming, labour-intensive and results are still qualitative. The LabChip 90 system automates the entire gel process onto a microfluidic chip, and generates quantitative sizing and concentration results. Automating the process produces highly reproducible data in much less time, allowing scientists to spend their valuable time on more important activities. Prior to DNA or protein analysis, reagents are loaded into the individual wells of the chip. These wells are connected to small plates of quartz etched with tiny microchannels about the size of a human hair. When the chip is loaded into the LabChip 90 System, its wells interface with platinum electrodes that provide voltage and current control. The system robot moves the microtitre plate wells directly under the chip’s capillary ‘sipper’, and approximately 150 nL of sample is aspirated onto the chip. Individual sample analytes are separated electrophoretically and the bands are detected via laser-induced fluorescence. Sizing and concentration for each band are determined using both a ladder and internal markers.

The sample processing time is less than 30 seconds and the system is compatible with 96- and 384-well plates with a flexible workflow that enables either hundreds of samples, or just a few, to be analysed at any one time.

Automated electrophoresis on a chip

Caliper Life Sciences

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