Investigations on the Effects of Surfactants in Microfluidic Separations and Assays

Kaan, Nathaniel
This project focused on the testing of various types and concentrations of surfactants for preventing non-specific binding (NSB) of proteins to polar glass surfaces in microfluidic channels. The project to date has involved two phases that included testing of the surfactants in a static environment while measuring fluorescence changes of a test system over time, and then testing the effects of the surfactants while an electroosmotic flow (EOF) is present in the channels. The first phase of the project was used to test two commercial (SB3-8 and TWEEN 20) and one synthesized (DMG-12) surfactants in comparison to bare glass channels. While all the surfactants decreased NSB, TWEEN 20 and DMG-12 were markedly superior. The second phase was used to test the surfactants when an EOF was present, and included the concentrations of the surfactants as a variable in addition to the type. It has so far been seen that there is less NSB and faster flow velocities as the concentration of the surfactant is increased.
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