The past few years have seen a rapid expansion in interest in the characterization of the entire complement of proteins, or proteome. Micro total analysis systems (μTAS) are an emerging promising method, offering rapid, sensitive and low sample consumption separations. I have demonstrated microchip capillary electrophoresis (CE) devices made of CaF2. New methods have been developed for micromachining enclosed capillaries in CaF2. CE analysis of fluorescently labeled amino acids was used to illustrate bioanalytical applications of these microdevices. Initial on-chip infrared spectroscopy results for qualitative analyte identification were achieved in microfluidic CaF2 channels. I have also shown the evaluation of poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) and thermoset polyester (TPE) microchips for use in protein profiling. To improve separation efficiency and reduce protein adsorption, dynamic coating and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) grafting using atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) have been used in PMMA microdevices. Proteins, peptides and protein digests have been separated electrophoretically in these PMMA microchips. My results demonstrate that PMMA microdevices should be well suited as microfluidic systems for high performance separations of complex biological mixtures. In-channel ATRP has been developed for the surface modification of TPE microdevices. Characterization indicates that PEG-modified microchannels have much lower and more pH-stable electroosmotic flow, more hydrophilic surfaces and reduced nonspecific protein adsorption. CE of amino acid and peptide mixtures in these PEG-modified TPE microchips had good reproducibility. Phosducin-like protein and phosphorylated phosducin-like protein were also separated to measure the phosphorylation efficiency. My results show that PEG-grafted TPE microchips have broad potential application in biomolecular analysis. Cancer marker analysis is important for medical research and applications. I report a method that can covalently attach appropriately oriented antibodies of interest on monolith surfaces. To reduce nonspecific adsorption, protein solutions were used to effectively block the monolith surface. Selective preconcentration and elution of human chorionic gonadotropin have been performed in my affinity columns, demonstrating that this type of system should have promising applications in cancer marker detection.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry



Date Submitted


Document Type





capillary electrophoresis (CE), bioanalytical, microchip CE, atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), affinity