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Enhancing separation in short-capillary electrophoresis via pressure-driven backflow

, : Enhancing separation in short-capillary electrophoresis via pressure-driven backflow. Electrophoresis 36(14): 1549-1554

We present a novel easy-to-operate and efficient method to improve the separation efficiency in short-capillary electrophoresis by introducing steady backflow to counterbalance electro-osmotic flow without the use of any external pressure. The backflow was easily generated by tapering the capillary end, which was achieved by heating a straight capillary and stretching it with a constant force. We investigated the net fluidic transport rate under different tip lengths and separation voltages. Good run-to-run repeatability and capillary-to-capillary reproducibility of the present method were obtained with RSD less than 1.5%, indicating the stability of the fluid transport rate in the tapered capillary, which ensures the quantification and repeatability of capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) analysis. Enhanced separation of the tapered short capillary electrophoresis was demonstrated by CZE analyzing amino acids and positional isomers. Baseline separations were achieved in less than 60 s using a tapered capillary with the effective length of 5 cm, while no separation was achieved using a normal capillary without a tapered tip. The present study provides a promising method to use pressure-driven backflow to enhance separation efficiency in short-capillary electrophoresis, which would be of potential value in a wide application for fast analysis of complex samples.


PMID: 25826429

DOI: 10.1002/elps.201500013

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