[Analytical Methods] Recent advances in microscale western blotting
Western blotting is a ubiquitous tool used extensively in the clinical and research settings to identify proteins and characterize their levels. It has rapidly become a mainstay in research laboratories due to its specificity, low cost, and ease of use. The specificity arises from the orthogonal processes used to identify proteins. Samples are first separated based on size and then probed with antibodies specific for the protein of interest. This confirmatory approach helps avoid pitfalls associated with antibody cross-reactivity and specificity issues. While the technique has evolved since its inception, the last decade has witnessed a paradigm shift in western blotting technology. The introduction of capillary and microfluidic platforms has significantly decreased time and sample requirements while enabling high-throughput capabilities. These advances have enabled western analysis down to the single cell level in highly parallel formats, opening vast new opportunities for studying cellular heterogeneity. Recent innovations in microscale western blotting are surveyed, and the potential for enhancing detection using advances in label-free biosensing is briefly discussed.
Brittany J. Sanders,a Daniel C. Kima and Robert C. Dunn*a Author affiliations * Corresponding authors a Ralph Adams Institute of Bioanalytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Kansas, USA E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, DKim@nektar.com