P. de Haan, M. A. Ianovska, K. Mathwig, G. A. A. van Lieshout, V. Triantis, H. Bouwmeester and E. Verpoorte, Lab on a Chip, published online. [link]
In vitro digestions are essential for determining the bioavailability of compounds, such as nutrients. We have developed a cell-free, miniaturized enzymatic digestive system, employing three micromixers connected in series to mimic the digestive functions of the mouth, stomach and small intestine. This system continuously processes samples, e.g. containing nutrients, to provide a constant flow of digested materials which may be presented to a subsequent gut-on-a-chip absorption module, containing living human intestinal cells. Our system incorporates three-compartment enzymatic digestion, one of the key functions of the gastrointestinal tract. In each of these compartments, we modify the chemical environment, including pH, buffer, and mineral composition, to closely mimic the local physiological environment and create optimal conditions for digestive processes to take place. It will therefore provide an excellent addition to existing gut-on-a-chip systems, providing the next step in determining the bio-availability of orally administered compounds in a fast and continuous-flow ex vivo system. In this paper, we demonstrate enzymatic digestion in each separate compartment using compounds, starch and casein, as model nutrients. The use of transparent, microfluidic micromixers based on chaotic advection, which can be probed directly with a microscope, enabled enzyme kinetics to be monitored from the very start of a reaction. Furthermore, we have digested lactoferrin in our system, demonstrating complete digestion of this milk protein in much shorter times than achievable with standard in vitro digestions using batch reactors.
M. Fontana, C. Fijen, S. G. Lemay, K. Mathwig and J. Hohlbein, Lab on a Chip 19 (2019) 79. [link, pdf]
Single-molecule detection schemes offer powerful means to overcome static and dynamic heterogeneity inherent to complex samples. However, probing biomolecular interactions and reactions with high throughput and time resolution remains challenging, often requiring surface-immobilized entities. Here, we introduce glass-made nanofluidic devices for the high-throughput detection of freely-diffusing single biomolecules by camera-based fluorescence microscopy. Nanochannels of 200 nm height confine the movement of biomolecules. Using pressure-driven flow through an array of parallel nanochannels and by tracking the movement of fluorescently labelled DNA oligonucleotides, we observe conformational changes with high throughput. In a device geometry featuring a T-shaped junction of nanochannels, we drive steady-state non-equilibrium conditions by continuously mixing reactants and triggering chemical reactions. We use the device to probe the conformational equilibrium of a DNA hairpin as well as to continuously observing DNA synthesis in real time. Our platform offers a straightforward and robust method for studying reaction kinetics at the single-molecule level.
H. Al-Kutubi, S. Voci, L. Rassaei, N. Sojic and K. Mathwig, Chemical Science 9 (2018) 8946. [link, pdf]
Microfabricated nanofluidic electrochemical devices offer a highly controlled nanochannel geometry; they confine the volume of chemical reactions to the nanoscale and enable greatly amplified electrochemical detection. Here, the generation of stable light emission by electrochemiluminescence (ECL) in transparent nanofluidic devices is demonstrated for the first time by exploiting nanogap amplification. Through continuous oxidation and reduction of [Ru(bpy)3]2+ luminophores at electrodes positioned at opposite walls of a 100-nm nanochannel, we compare classic redox cycling and ECL annihilation. Enhanced ECL light emission of attomole luminophore quantities is evidenced under ambient conditions due to the spatial confinement in a 10-femtoliter volume, resulting in a short diffusion timescale and highly efficient ECL reaction pathways at the nanoscale.
The Annual Symposium of the Working Group on Electrochemistry of the Royal Netherland Chemical Society will take place in Groningen this November:
Hyphenated Electrochemistry – Combining Electrochemical Methods with Complementary Techniques for Sensing Applications
The capability of electrochemistry is greatly enhanced when used in combination with other methods. The meeting focusses on such hyphenated techniques, which have recently gained more importance in a variety of fields, for example in analytics. Topics include single-molecule detection, electrochemiluminescence, electrochemical transistors, micro- and nanofluidic lab-on-a-chip detection, and diverse
applications such as fuel cells and protein analysis.
Date: Friday 23 November 2018
Location: NH Hotel Groningen, Hanzeplein 132, 9713 GW Groningen
See here for the program, and here for the registration.
P. E. Oomen, Y. Zhang, R. C. Chiechi, E. Verpoorte and K. Mathwig, Lab on a Chip 18 (2018) 2913. [link, pdf]
We suspended a single nanoskived gold nanowire in a microfluidic channel. In this preliminary report, a 200-nm-diameter nanowire was used as an electrode to perform hydrodynamic voltammetry in the center of solution flow. Suspended nanowires exhibit superior current response due to highly efficient mass transport in the area of fastest flow.
Jin Cui, Klaus Mathwig, Dileep Mampallil and Serge G. Lemay, Analytical Chemistry 90 (2018) 7127. [link, pdf]
Nanoscale channels and electrodes for electrochemical measurements exhibit extreme surface-to-volume ratios and a correspondingly high sensitivity to even weak degrees of surface interactions. Here, we exploit the potential-dependent reversible adsorption of outer-sphere redox species to modulate in space and time their concentration in a nanochannel under advective flow conditions. Induced concentration variations propagate downstream at a species-dependent velocity. This allows one to amperometrically distinguish between attomole amounts of species based on their time-of-flight. On-demand concentration pulse generation, separation, and detection are all integrated in a miniaturized platform.