The science of coupling

A US team has paired the remote-detection version of NMR/MRI spectroscopy with a chromatography technique used in microfluidic devices. The work opens the way to portable and highly sensitive multi-dimensional chemical analysis.

Alexander Pines of the University of California Berkeley and his team have demonstrated for the first time how their pioneering remote detection NMR/MRI expertise can be used to perform analyses in a microscale monolithic chromatograph column and so rapidly identify the chemical constituents of samples in a microfluidic “lab-on-a-chip” device.

The chromatography can separate components of the sample quickly enough so that NMR/MRI detection is possible. Pines and colleagues Vikram Bajaj, Thomas Teisseyre, Jiri Urban, Nicholas Halpern-Manners, Stuart Chambers and Frantisek Svec, report details in the journal Analytical Chemistry.