Lab-on-Capillary-A Cost Effective Chemical and Biochemical Evaluation Technique

Paraytec have released a technical application report that discusses how separations in capillaries can be readily integrated with other in-capillary processes such as mixing and reaction, laying the foundations for a versatile and widely applicable new lab-on-capillary format.

The report evaluates a novel miniature capillary UV imaging detector (ActiPix® D100) on a range of nanolitre scale enzyme assays which could be used for rapid and cost effective evaluation of biocatalytic activity and characterisation of biochemical samples.

The authors demonstrate how the lab-on-capillary approach using the ActiPix® D100 allows multiplexed detection of reactions and electrophoretic separations meaning that different concentrations of an enzyme can be assayed in parallel, increasing throughput and work efficiency. Using examples of reactions catalysed by enzymes immobilised onto beads within or on the surface of the capillary wall the technique is shown to be readily applicable to proteomic studies (protein digestion and separation) and early stage screening in drug discovery.

The report concludes by comparing the lab-on-capillary technique with lab-on-a-chip methods. While both offer miniaturisation of a wide range of procedures the lab-on-capillary technique, using the ActiPix® D100, offers higher resolution separations of complex mixtures, is inherently more affordable being based upon readily available fused silica capillaries and connectors and is much more easily integrated with other devices (pumps, detectors, power supplies).

The ActiPix® D100 miniature UV imaging area detector is the world's first miniature multiplexed capillary UV area detector. Using an active pixel area sensor to capture measurements imaging of single or multiple capillaries is readily achieved on a single sensor, unlike current commercial UV detectors. Using a capillary, as combined sample vessel and optical element, the ActiPix® D100 detector provides inherent spatial separation of sample and reference beams - the result - a unique self-referencing system in a miniature format. Allowing minute (picolitre to nanolitre) volumes to be measured with high sensitivity, without sacrificing spatial resolution, the ActiPix® D100 is an ideal detector for capillary LC and CE systems.

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