Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara University

First Advisor

Unyoung Kim


For the study of neuromodulation in Cancer borealis we have designed a microfluidic device to separate and detect bioamine concentrations with a high temporal resolution. Our goal is to use this device to measure the concentration of continuous bioamine microdialysis samples directly from the pericardial cavity (the area surrounding the heart) of Cancer borealis. The microfluidic device that we designed is made from polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and exhibits an off-channel configuration of capillary electrophoresis (CE) by incorporating micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC). CE is used to separate bioamines based on charge and size due to the applied electrical potential. In the off-channel configuration, the potential is applied across the separation channel and grounded by the palladium decoupler, which lies just before the detector. Microchip CE is advantageous because it uses small amounts of analyte and completes fast run times. We will use MEKC to separate dopamine and octopamine, since they are structural isomers, by their difference in affinity to sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) micelles. This results in different elution times for dopamine and octopamine. We were able to drive the fluid in the correct direction. The creation of this device has valuable implications, allowing for baseline concentrations of neuromodulators with the Cancer borealis to be established. The effect of different stimuli on these crabs can then be more accurately determined.