This paper presents a novel micro-capillary electrophoresis (CE) chip with embedded optical fibers for the on-line detection of DNA samples. The optical fibers are pre-etched and then inserted directly into fiber channels incorporated within low-cost soda-lime glass substrates. The embedded optical fibers are precisely aligned with the microfluidic channels such that the induced fluorescence signals from labeled bio-samples can be detected. This arrangement avoids the requirement for delicate optical alignment procedures and equipment. Surface modification of the CE channels is accomplished by means of a simple and reliable organic-based spin-on-glass (SOG) method. The zeta potential distribution and the corresponding electroosmotic mobility of the fluid are simulated numerically for the modified and non-modified channel surfaces, and then both sets of results are verified experimentally. The present results indicate that the value of the zeta potential for a surface with an SOG coating is 19.3 times smaller than that of an untreated surface. A φX-174 DNA marker fluid is used to evaluate the injection and separation performance of the developed micro-CE device. Furthermore, the long-term stability of the SOG-coated surface is also investigated. The experimental data reveal that the microchip device is capable of providing highly efficient separations of bio-molecules, and that the SOG layer retains its low zeta potential characteristics for at least 45 days. The present results confirm the effectiveness of the proposed micro-CE chip in performing the on-line detection of DNA samples, and indicate that the SOG process represents a simple and reliable solution for the surface modification of glass-based microchannels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes