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Gradient Elution Moving Boundary Electrophoresis (GEMBE) with Channel Current Detection



David J. Ross, Eugenia F. Romantseva


Gradient elution moving boundary electrophoresis (GEMBE) is a recently described technique for electrophoretic separations in short (1 cm – 3 cm) capillaries or microchannels. With GEMBE, the electrophoretic migration of analytes is opposed by a bulk counterflow of separation buffer through the separation channel. The counterflow velocity is varied over the course of a separation so that analytes with different electrophoretic mobilities enter the separation channel at different times and are detected as moving boundary, step-wise increases in the detector response. The resolution of a GEMBE separation is thus dependent on the rate at which the counterflow velocity is varied (rather than the length of the separation channel), and relatively high resolution separations can be performed with short microfluidic channels or capillaries. In this paper we describe an implementation of the GEMBE technique in which a very short (2.5 mm – 3.5 mm) capillary or microchannel is used as both the separation channel and a conductivity detection cell. Because the channel is so short, only a single moving boundary “step” is present in the channel at any given time, and the measured current through the channel can therefore be used to give a signal comparable to what is normally generated by more complicated detector arrangements.
Analytical Chemistry
Created September 1, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017