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Electrokinetic injection of samples into a short electrophoretic capillary controlled by piezoelectric micropumps

Opekar, František, Nesměrák, Karel, Tůma, Petr
Electrophoresis 2016 v.37 no.4 pp. 595-600
acetic acid, cations, electrolytes, electrophoresis, mineral fertilizers, pH, potassium
Electrokinetic sample injection using two piezoelectric micropumps has been proposed for electrophoresis in short capillaries. The sample is brought to the injection end of the capillary using one of them. Then, the high‐voltage source is turned on and the sample is injected electrokinetically for a defined time. The injection is terminated by removal of the sample zone by the flowing separation electrolyte pumped by the second piezoelectric micropump. The RSD value, expressing the repeatability of the injection, does not exceed 4%. The injection apparatus does not contain any mobile mechanical components, there is no movement of the capillary and both its ends remain constantly in the solution during both the sample injection and separation. Thus, the micropumps replace the six‐way injection valve and linear pump in similar types of injection apparatuses. The injection was tested in the separation and determination of ammonium and potassium ions in two samples of mineral fertilizers. The separation was performed in background electrolyte containing 500 mM of acetic acid + 20 mM Tris + 2 mM 18‐crown‐6 (pH 3.3) in a capillary with id 50 μm and total length/length to the contactless conductivity detector of 10.5/8 cm. The injection and separation took place at a voltage of 5 kV and the separation time equaled 20 s. The measured values of the analyte contents corresponded to the value declared by the manufacturer within the reliability interval, where RSD equaled between 3.5 and 4.7%.