UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Microfluidic mixer designed for performing single-molecule kinetics with confocal detection on timescales from milliseconds to minutes


Wunderlich, Bengt; Nettels, Daniel; Benke, Stephan; Clark, Jennifer; Weidner, Sascha; Hofmann, Hagen; Pfeil, Shawn H; Schuler, Benjamin (2013). Microfluidic mixer designed for performing single-molecule kinetics with confocal detection on timescales from milliseconds to minutes. Nature Protocols, 8(8):1459-1474.

Abstract

Microfluidic mixing in combination with single-molecule spectroscopy allows the investigation of complex biomolecular processes under non-equilibrium conditions. Here we present a protocol for building, installing and operating microfluidic mixing devices optimized for this purpose. The mixer is fabricated by replica molding with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which allows the production of large numbers of devices at a low cost using a single microfabricated silicon mold. The design is based on hydrodynamic focusing combined with diffusive mixing and allows single-molecule kinetics to be recorded over five orders of magnitude in time, from 1 ms to ∼100 s. Owing to microfabricated particle filters incorporated in the inlet channels, the devices provide stable flow for many hours to days without channel blockage, which allows reliable collection of high-quality data. Modular design enables rapid exchange of samples and mixing devices, which are mounted in a specifically designed holder for use with a confocal microscopy detection system. Integrated Peltier elements provide temperature control from 4 to 37 °C. The protocol includes the fabrication of a silicon master, production of the microfluidic devices, instrumentation setup and data acquisition. Once a silicon master is available, devices can be produced and experiments started within ∼1 d of preparation. We demonstrate the performance of the system with single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements of kinetics of protein folding and conformational changes. The dead time of 1 ms, as predicted from finite element calculations, was confirmed by the measurements.

Abstract

Microfluidic mixing in combination with single-molecule spectroscopy allows the investigation of complex biomolecular processes under non-equilibrium conditions. Here we present a protocol for building, installing and operating microfluidic mixing devices optimized for this purpose. The mixer is fabricated by replica molding with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which allows the production of large numbers of devices at a low cost using a single microfabricated silicon mold. The design is based on hydrodynamic focusing combined with diffusive mixing and allows single-molecule kinetics to be recorded over five orders of magnitude in time, from 1 ms to ∼100 s. Owing to microfabricated particle filters incorporated in the inlet channels, the devices provide stable flow for many hours to days without channel blockage, which allows reliable collection of high-quality data. Modular design enables rapid exchange of samples and mixing devices, which are mounted in a specifically designed holder for use with a confocal microscopy detection system. Integrated Peltier elements provide temperature control from 4 to 37 °C. The protocol includes the fabrication of a silicon master, production of the microfluidic devices, instrumentation setup and data acquisition. Once a silicon master is available, devices can be produced and experiments started within ∼1 d of preparation. We demonstrate the performance of the system with single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements of kinetics of protein folding and conformational changes. The dead time of 1 ms, as predicted from finite element calculations, was confirmed by the measurements.

Citations

22 citations in Web of Science®
21 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

0 downloads since deposited on 12 Aug 2013
0 downloads since 12 months

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:12 Aug 2013 13:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:53
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1750-2799
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/nprot.2013.082
PubMed ID:23845960

Download

[img]
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 2MB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations