This paper summarizes the features and performances of optical detection systems currently applied in order to monitor separations on microchip devices. Fluorescence detection, which delivers very high sensitivity and selectivity, is still the most widely applied method of detection. Instruments utilizing laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and lamp-based fluorescence along with recent applications of light-emitting diodes (LED) as excitation sources are also covered in this paper. Since chemiluminescence detection can be achieved using extremely simple devices which no longer require light sources and optical components for focusing and collimation, interesting approaches based on this technique are presented, too. Although UV/vis absorbance is a detection method that is commonly used in standard desktop electrophoresis and liquid chromatography instruments, it has not yet reached the same level of popularity for microchip applications. Current applications of UV/vis absorbance detection to microchip separations and innovative approaches that increase sensitivity are described. This article, which contains 85 references, focuses on developments and applications published within the last three years, points out exciting new approaches, and provides future perspectives on this field.
- Optical detection methods - Microchip - Microfluidic - Separation - Review