Nano/micro sampling for local metabolomics

The aim of the project is to develop a nano/micro sampling device for local metabolomics. The main envisioned application is the sampling of interstitial fluid (ISF) from the skin. For this application, a device is being developed that uses microneedles to penetrate approx. 150 µm into the skin (i.e. into the viable epidermis) to ISF. Metabolites in the ISF are expected to better reflect the local processes as ISF is not actively transported through the body as e.g. blood.
The needles will be integrated with a microfluidic device for the handling of the small sample volumes, any necessary sample stabilization and sample preparation as well as interfacing to the MS for sample analysis. Integration of the sampling needles on a microfluidic device will significantly reduce dead volumes and mixing associated with conventional couplings. Furthermore, this should allow for the ultra rapid sample stabilization and sample preparation as the sampled fluid can be directly mixed with stabilization agents on-chip. The modules are implemented in a rather generic platform, so in addition to sampling from the skin the envisioned integrated device can in principle also be exploited in e.g. the analysis of a small droplet of blood.
A feasibility study for the construction of a nano/micro sampling device for local metabolomics in the skin and development and optimization of microfluidic chip production has been performed. The manufacturing and performance of microneedles for penetration of stratum corneum, sampling of interstitial fluid (ISF) and interfacing with microfluidic chip has been assessed and a production procedure of microfluidic chip in Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), including monolithically integrated valves, pumps and electrospray emitters was developed.
The feasibility of sample analysis was assessed by performing MS analysis of epidermis lysate, performing ESI-MS from microneedles and from on chip electrospray emitter of academic samples. The suitability of combining MALDI-MS with microneedles is currently under evaluation.

Main project title: 
Biology driven improved coverage of the metabolome
AIO 1-10-09
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Status Project Proposal: 
Location 1: