Abstract by Joule Esene
Chemistry and Biochemistry
3D-printed integrated microfluidic devices for preterm birth risk assessment (PTB) using electrophoresis separation
Preterm birth (PTB) is a common cause of neonatal mortalities. Unfortunately, PTB risk assessment before contractions is unavailable clinically. A panel of biomarkers (four proteins and five peptides) has been studied and their levels found to correlate with PTB risk. As part of the goal of developing point-of-care tests, T-shaped microchip electrophoresis (µCE) devices capable of rapid separation of the PTB biomarkers have been developed. Because longer channels improve resolution in electrophoresis, a serpentine µCE device with longer channels and tapered turns was recently designed and is being tested. Defensins (a PTB biomarker) constitute several different peptides. Work is ongoing using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify which defensin peptide is best in indicating PTB risk. The serpentine µCE device will improve separation efficiency, while the identification of the defensin peptide will eliminate interference with the signals from other PTB biomarkers.