Bioaffinity mass spectrometry screening is a novel approach using non-denaturing electrospray
ionization (ESI) mass spectrometry (MS) in identifying drug leads. This screening technique can
detect and preserve noncovalent protein-active drug ligand complexes under different physiological
conditions. Although there are many successful screening campaigns employing this technique, the big
challenge of the screening is the reduction of sample volume needed. We demonstrate in this paper
that analysis of samples can be performed using droplet-based microfluidics. Droplets of samples to be
screened are formed and delivered directly into the electrospray emitter of a Fourier Transform mass
spectrometer. The results show that a MS instrument with a conventional ESI source can clearly detect the samples and
distinguish it with the separating oil phase. The proposed technique opens the possibility of bioaffinity mass spectrometry
screening of small samples with a simple microfluidic device.
Keywords: Bioaffinity mass spectrometry, compartmentalisation, droplet-based microfluidics, ESI.
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