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Lab-in-droplet: From glycan sample treatment toward diagnostic screening of congenital disorders of glycosylation.

We present in this study a new microfluidic droplet platform, named Lab-in-Droplet, for multistep glycoprotein sample treatment. Several operations are required for the sample treatment of a given glycoprotein to profile its N-glycans. In our case, all preparation steps for the analysis of N-glycans from glycoproteins could be realized in an automatic manner and without cross contamination. This could be achieved through several features that are not met in previous droplet setups, notably full automation, droplet sensing and heating. […] We demonstrated the superiority of this Lab-in-Droplet over the conventional batchwise protocol, with 10-fold less reagent consumption, 3-fold less time, and 2-fold improvement of glycan labeling yield, without degradation of glycan separation profile obtained by capillary electrophoresis. The platform with the developed droplet protocol was applied successfully for mapping N-linked glycans released from human sera, serving for diagnostic screening of congenital disorders of glycosylation.