Capillary zone electrophoresis of sub-μm-sized particles in electrolyte solutions of various ionic strengths: Size-dependent electrophoretic migration and separation efficiency

Sergey P. Radko, Miroslava Stastna, Andreas Chrambach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To gain insight into the mechanisms of size-dependent separation of microparticles in capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE), sulfated polystyrene latex microspheres of 139, 189, 268, and 381 nm radius were subjected to CZE in Tris-borate buffers of various ionic strengths ranging from 0.0003 to 0.005, at electric field strengths of 100-500 V cm-1. Size-dependent electrophoretic migration of polystyrene particles in CZE was shown to be an explicit function of κR, where κ-1 and r are the thickness of electric double layer (which can be derived from the ionic strength of the buffer) and particle radius, respectively. Particle mobility depends on κR in a manner consistent with that expected from the Overbeek-Booth electrokinetic theory, though a charged hairy layer on the surface of polystyrene latex particles complicates the quantitative prediction and optimization of size-dependent separation of such particles in CZE. However, the Overbeek-Booth theory remains a useful general guide for size-dependent separation of microparticles in CZE. In accordance with it, it could be shown that, for a given pair of polystyrene particles of different sizes, there exists an ionic strength which provides the optimal separation selectivity. Peak spreading was promoted by both an increasing electric field strength and a decreasing ionic strength. When the capillary is efficiently thermostated, the electrophoretic heterogeneity of polystyrene microspheres appears to be the major contributor to peak spreading. Yet, at both elevated electric field strengths (500 V/cm) and the highest ionic strength used (0.005), thermal effects in a capillary appear to contribute significantly to peak spreading or can even dominate it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3583-3592
Number of pages10
JournalElectrophoresis
Volume21
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Capillary zone electrophoresis
  • Size-dependent separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry

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