State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China; College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; Institute of Environment and Health, Jianghan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430056, China. Electronic address: [Email]
We successfully developed a strategy to combine a customized gel electrophoresis device with ICP-MS for online separation and detection of metalloproteins. The self-designed horizontal column gel electrophoresis device was rapidly and easily fabricated in the laboratory via 3D printing with a low cost. The feasibility of 3D printing to fabricate this device was investigated by offline separation of commercial protein standards. And a better separation efficiency was found when using gel tubes printed with higher printing precision. As a proof-of-concept, the performance of the whole system is demonstrated by online separation and detection of both iodinated protein standards and proteins in rat blood plasma samples. Benefits from 3D printing, customized modification or further optimization can be readily achieved for a better protein separation and detection efficiency.