Abstract by Anna Nielsen
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Separation of a Panel of Preterm Birth Biomarkers using Microchip Electrophoresis
Every year, over one million infants worldwide are born preterm, or before the 37th week of gestation, resulting in preterm birth (PTB) becoming the leading cause of neonatal complications and infant mortality. Currently, there is no clinical assessment available prior to the onset of early labor to diagnose PTB risk. However, this assessment could be possible using a panel of biomarkers consisting of proteins and peptides recently outlined by Esplin, et al.  We have been developing a method to separate these biomarkers using microchip electrophoresis (µCE). By optimizing buffer pH, voltage, and the microchip surface modification via photografting, we have separated six of the nine PTB biomarkers in the panel, ranging in size from 2 to 470 kDa. This separation has the potential to be combined with on-chip sample preparation steps to assess PTB risk from only a few drops of maternal blood serum.
1. Esplin, M.S., et al. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2011, 204, 391.e1-8.