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Model of separation performance of bilinear gradients in scanning format counter‐flow gradient electrofocusing techniques

Shameli, Seyed Mostafa, Glawdel, Tomasz, Ren, Carolyn L.
Electrophoresis 2015 v.36 no.5 pp. 668-674
isoelectric focusing, model validation, models, separation, system optimization
Counter‐flow gradient electrofocusing allows the simultaneous concentration and separation of analytes by generating a gradient in the total velocity of each analyte that is the sum of its electrophoretic velocity and the bulk counter‐flow velocity. In the scanning format, the bulk counter‐flow velocity is varying with time so that a number of analytes with large differences in electrophoretic mobility can be sequentially focused and passed by a single detection point. Studies have shown that nonlinear (such as a bilinear) velocity gradients along the separation channel can improve both peak capacity and separation resolution simultaneously, which cannot be realized by using a single linear gradient. Developing an effective separation system based on the scanning counter‐flow nonlinear gradient electrofocusing technique usually requires extensive experimental and numerical efforts, which can be reduced significantly with the help of analytical models for design optimization and guiding experimental studies. Therefore, this study focuses on developing an analytical model to evaluate the separation performance of scanning counter‐flow bilinear gradient electrofocusing methods. In particular, this model allows a bilinear gradient and a scanning rate to be optimized for the desired separation performance. The results based on this model indicate that any bilinear gradient provides a higher separation resolution (up to 100%) compared to the linear case. This model is validated by numerical studies.