This article reports a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems)-based column separator designed for potential integration with portable medical point-of-care testing (POCT) devices. The MEMS column uses size exclusion chromatography (SEC) to pre-separate raw samples by size, and is made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) fabricated on a glass slide. The MEMS SEC column separates 300 ng/mL of beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG), a cancer biomarker, from a fibrin-ogen-rich solution (20 μg/mL) in 10 min, showing 2.12 resolution and 0.036 mm plate height through fluorescent detection. Results are further verified by β-hCG and anti-β-hCG antibody conjugate using surface plasmon resonance (SPR). The collected β-hCG-rich eluent at 8 min shows 11 mDeg of angle shift. The fluorescent detection and SPR results demonstrate the complete discrimination of β-hCG from fibrinogen using the MEMS SEC column, and illustrate its viability for integrating a sample preparation stage in POCT devices to assist cancer screening and prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-484
Number of pages8
JournalMicrofluidics and Nanofluidics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • MEMS
  • MEMS SEC column
  • Miniaturization
  • Separation
  • Size exclusion chromatography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry

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