Abstract by Benjamin George
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Conditions for Fluorescent Labeling of Preterm Birth Biomarkers
Preterm birth (PTB) leads to over one million deaths annually. There is currently no clinical diagnostic for PTB risk. One possible diagnostic involves measuring PTB biomarkers in maternal blood serum, using integrated microfluidics, having an immunoaffinity column coupled to a reversed-phase column where fluorescent labeling occurs, followed by a channel for microchip electrophoresis. We optimized conditions for off-chip fluorescent labeling with both FITC and Alexafluor. The conditions investigated include pH, temperature, buffer concentration, biomarker concentration, DMSO content, and labeling time. Labeling conditions were studied for several amino acids, as well as two proteins, including one PTB biomarker. Labeling was evaluated using capillary electrophoresis, and Nanodrop fluorescence detection. These conditions can now be applied to on-chip fluorescent labeling to improve diagnostic capability.