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Micro Free Flow Electrophoresis Analysis of Mitochondria

Recent research from the research groups of Professor Edgar Arriaga and Professor Michael Bowser.

Much like cells, mitochondria exhibit a wide range of diversity in size, shape, protein expression and ultimately functionality. Understanding this diversity has important implications in aging and metabolism research. Vratislav Kostal and Bryan Fonslow from the Arriaga and Bowser groups have recently collaborated to develop a new Micro Free Flow Electrophoresis (μFFE) method for analyzing mitochondrial populations. μFFE continuously separates analyte streams as they flow through an electric field. This continuous separation allows analysis of microliter scale samples in as little as 30 sec. This technique is also well suited for microscale preparative separations which would allow further analysis of mitochondria sub-populations. Full details can be found in: Anal. Chem., 2009, 81 (22), pp 9267–9273; DOI: 10.1021/ac901508x.

Left: Schematic of the μFFE device. Right: Fluorescence image showing dispersion of mitochondria in the electric field.

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