Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 404, Issue 6–7, pp 1713–1721 | Cite as

Analyzing small samples with high efficiency: capillary batch injection–capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry

Original Paper

Abstract

We present an experimental approach to conducting fast capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry (CE-MS) measurements of very small samples in the nanoliter range. This is achieved by injecting sample very efficiently into a CE-MS system. Injection efficiency represents the ratio of injected sample to the amount of sample needed for carrying out the injection process (v/v). In order to increase this injection efficiency from typical values of 10–3 to 10−7, the concept of capillary batch injection is used to build an automated, small-footprint injection device for CE-MS. This device is capable of running true multi-sample measurement series, using minimal sample volumes and delivering an injection efficiency of up to 100 %. It is compatible with both aqueous and non-aqueous background electrolytes. As an additional benefit, CE-MS separations of a catecholamine model system in capillaries of 15 cm length under conditions of high electric field strength could be accomplished in 20 s with high separation efficiency. This report details design and specifications of the injection device and shows optimal parameter choices for injections with both high injection efficiency and high separation efficiency. Furthermore, a procedure is presented to coat the tip of a fused silica capillary with a silicone elastomer which acts as a seal between two capillaries.

Figure

An approach to transfer nL-samples into the separation capillary of a CE-MS system is presented. The automated and computer-controlled setup can transfer samples with up to 100 % efficiency from the point of sampling into the separation capillary, where highly efficient and fast CE-MS separations are conducted

Keywords

Injection efficiency Fast capillary electrophoresis Hyphenation Mass spectrometry Small sample Fused silica capillaries High electric field strengths Catecholamines 

Abbreviations

BGE

Background electrolyte

CBI

Capillary batch injection

CE

Capillary electrophoresis

ESI

Electrospray ionization

ID

Inner diameter

MS

Mass spectrometry

TOF-MS

Time-of-flight mass spectrometry

Supplementary material

216_2012_6282_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (4 kb)
ESM 1(PDF 4 kb)
ESM 2

(AVI 13,363 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Analytical Chemistry, Chemo- and BiosensorsUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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