The extraction of intracrystalline biomarkers and other organic compounds from sulphate minerals using a microfluidic format - A feasibility study for remote fossil-life detection using a microfluidic H-cell

Stephen A. Bowden*, Rab Wilson, Colin Taylor, Jonathan M. Cooper, John Parnell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Water-soluble sulphate minerals such as epsomite and gypsum have been reported on a number of planetary bodies of astrobiological interest and their presence is often used as an indicator for potential habitability as it can indicate the presence of liquid water. The sulphate minerals can incorporate biomarkers and biomolecules as intracrystalline inclusions. These intracrystalline inclusions are protected from their exterior chemical environments and their analysis can yield a biomarker record, even in environments where extreme oxidizing conditions may have degraded any record present in non-intracrystalline organic matter. In this study, organic compounds were incorporated within epsomite as intracrystalline inclusions by co-precipitating a mineral from solutions of a mineral and organic compound. A feasibly study utilizing a microfluidic H-cell to process finely ground samples of the inclusion-bearing epsomite indicates that a similar device may be used to extract biomarkers for analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Astrobiology
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

Fingerprint

sulfate minerals
biomarkers
fossils
feasibility study
organic compounds
format
biomarker
sulfates
organic compound
minerals
inclusions
fossil
sulfate
mineral
cells
gypsum
habitability
water
organic matter
liquids

Keywords

  • Extraction
  • H-cell
  • Inclusions
  • Intracrystalline
  • Life detection
  • Microfluidic
  • Sulphate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

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title = "The extraction of intracrystalline biomarkers and other organic compounds from sulphate minerals using a microfluidic format - A feasibility study for remote fossil-life detection using a microfluidic H-cell",
abstract = "Water-soluble sulphate minerals such as epsomite and gypsum have been reported on a number of planetary bodies of astrobiological interest and their presence is often used as an indicator for potential habitability as it can indicate the presence of liquid water. The sulphate minerals can incorporate biomarkers and biomolecules as intracrystalline inclusions. These intracrystalline inclusions are protected from their exterior chemical environments and their analysis can yield a biomarker record, even in environments where extreme oxidizing conditions may have degraded any record present in non-intracrystalline organic matter. In this study, organic compounds were incorporated within epsomite as intracrystalline inclusions by co-precipitating a mineral from solutions of a mineral and organic compound. A feasibly study utilizing a microfluidic H-cell to process finely ground samples of the inclusion-bearing epsomite indicates that a similar device may be used to extract biomarkers for analysis.",
keywords = "Extraction, H-cell, Inclusions, Intracrystalline, Life detection, Microfluidic, Sulphate",
author = "Bowden, {Stephen A.} and Rab Wilson and Colin Taylor and Cooper, {Jonathan M.} and John Parnell",
note = "This work was supported by EPSRC grant GR/S47267/01.",
year = "2007",
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T1 - The extraction of intracrystalline biomarkers and other organic compounds from sulphate minerals using a microfluidic format - A feasibility study for remote fossil-life detection using a microfluidic H-cell

AU - Bowden, Stephen A.

AU - Wilson, Rab

AU - Taylor, Colin

AU - Cooper, Jonathan M.

AU - Parnell, John

N1 - This work was supported by EPSRC grant GR/S47267/01.

PY - 2007/1

Y1 - 2007/1

N2 - Water-soluble sulphate minerals such as epsomite and gypsum have been reported on a number of planetary bodies of astrobiological interest and their presence is often used as an indicator for potential habitability as it can indicate the presence of liquid water. The sulphate minerals can incorporate biomarkers and biomolecules as intracrystalline inclusions. These intracrystalline inclusions are protected from their exterior chemical environments and their analysis can yield a biomarker record, even in environments where extreme oxidizing conditions may have degraded any record present in non-intracrystalline organic matter. In this study, organic compounds were incorporated within epsomite as intracrystalline inclusions by co-precipitating a mineral from solutions of a mineral and organic compound. A feasibly study utilizing a microfluidic H-cell to process finely ground samples of the inclusion-bearing epsomite indicates that a similar device may be used to extract biomarkers for analysis.

AB - Water-soluble sulphate minerals such as epsomite and gypsum have been reported on a number of planetary bodies of astrobiological interest and their presence is often used as an indicator for potential habitability as it can indicate the presence of liquid water. The sulphate minerals can incorporate biomarkers and biomolecules as intracrystalline inclusions. These intracrystalline inclusions are protected from their exterior chemical environments and their analysis can yield a biomarker record, even in environments where extreme oxidizing conditions may have degraded any record present in non-intracrystalline organic matter. In this study, organic compounds were incorporated within epsomite as intracrystalline inclusions by co-precipitating a mineral from solutions of a mineral and organic compound. A feasibly study utilizing a microfluidic H-cell to process finely ground samples of the inclusion-bearing epsomite indicates that a similar device may be used to extract biomarkers for analysis.

KW - Extraction

KW - H-cell

KW - Inclusions

KW - Intracrystalline

KW - Life detection

KW - Microfluidic

KW - Sulphate

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