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Injection system for fast capillary electrophoresis based on pressure regulation with flow restrictors

Furter, Jasmine S., Hauser, Peter C.
Electrophoresis 2019 v.40 no.3 pp. 410-413
ammonium, automation, barium, calcium, capillary electrophoresis, detection limit, lithium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, strontium
A fast automated system for rapid electrophoretic separations in short conventional capillaries employing contactless conductivity detection is presented. The instrument is based on pneumatic pressurization and does not require a conventional pump. The required pressures and flow rates for the different steps of the injection and flushing processes are produced with the help of two flow restrictors. The device is implemented on a microfluidic breadboard with dimensions of ca. 13 × 20 cm and employs miniature valves. Nine inorganic cations, namely NH₄⁺, K⁺, Na⁺, Ca²⁺, Mg²⁺, Mn²⁺, Sr²⁺, Li⁺, and Ba²⁺, could be separated in a capillary of 10 μm inner diameter and 6 cm effective length within 25 s. Following a reduction of the effective length to 4 cm, still five inorganic cations could be separated in a time span of 12 s. The repeatability of peak areas was better than 3.1 % and limits of detection between 3.5 and 5.5 μM were achieved.