Proteomic analysis requires the combination of an extensive suite of technologies including protein processing and separation, micro-flow HPLC, MS and bioinformatics. Although proteomic technologies are still in flux, approaches that bypass gel electrophoresis (gel-free approaches) are dominating the field of proteomics. Along with the development of gel-free proteomics, came the development of devices for the processing of proteomic samples termed proteomic reactors. These microfluidic devices provide rapid, robust and efficient pre-MS sample procession by performing protein sample preparation/concentration, digestion and peptide fractionation. The proteomic reactor has advanced in two major directions: immobilized enzyme reactor and ion exchange-based proteomic reactor. This review summarizes the technical developments and biological applications of the proteomic reactor over the last decade.
© 2011 The Authors Journal compilation © 2011 FEBS.