Aqueous and non-aqueous microchip electrophoresis with on-chip electrospray ionization mass spectrometry on replica-molded thiol-ene microfluidic devices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • University of Helsinki


This work describes aqueous and non-aqueous capillary electrophoresis on thiol-ene-based microfluidic separation devices that feature fully integrated and sharp electrospray ionization (ESI) emitters. The chip fabrication is based on simple and low-cost replica-molding of thiol-ene polymers under standard laboratory conditions. The mechanical rigidity and the stability of the materials against organic solvents, acids and bases could be tuned by adjusting the respective stoichiometric ratio of the thiol and allyl (“ene”) monomers, which allowed us to carry out electrophoresis separation in both aqueous and non-aqueous (methanol- and ethanol-based) background electrolytes. The stability of the ESI signal was generally ≤10% RSD for all emitters. The respective migration time repeatabilities in aqueous and non-aqueous background electrolytes were below 3 and 14% RSD (n = 4-6, with internal standard). The analytical performance of the developed thiol-ene microdevices was shown in mass spectrometry (MS) based analysis of peptides, proteins, and small molecules. The theoretical plate numbers were the highest (1.2–2.4 × 104 m−1) in ethanol-based background electrolytes. The ionization efficiency also increased under non-aqueous conditions compared to aqueous background electrolytes. The results show that replica-molding of thiol-enes is a feasible approach for producing ESI microdevices that perform in a stable manner in both aqueous and non-aqueous electrophoresis.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Electrospray ionization, Mass spectrometry, Microchip electrophoresis, Non-aqueous capillary electrophoresis, Replica-molding, Thiol-enes

ID: 13017692