Fluorescence imaging of sample zone narrowing and dispersion in a glass microchip: The effects of organic solvent (acetonitrile)-salt mixtures in the sample matrix and surfactant micelles in the running buffer

Zhijian Jia, Yi Kuen Lee, Qun Fang, Carmen W K HUIE*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A mismatch in the EOF velocities between the sample zone and running buffer region is known to generate pressure-driven, parabolic flow profile of the sample plug in electrokinetic separation systems. In the present study, video fluorescence microscopy was employed to capture real-time dynamics of the sample plug (containing fluorescein as the probe molecule) in a discontinuous conductivity system within a glass microchip, in which the sample matrix consisted of a mixture of ACN and salt (NaCl), and the running buffer contained sodium cholate (SC) micelles as the pseudo-stationary phase (i.e., performing "ACN stacking" in the mode of MEKC). Upon application of the separation voltage, the video images revealed that zone narrowing and broadening of the probe molecules occurred as the sample plug headed toward the cathode during the initial time period, probably resulting in part from the stacking/sweeping, and destacking of the SC micelles at the boundaries between the sample zone and running buffer. Interestingly, a second sample zone narrowing event can be observed as the sample plug moved further toward the cathode, which could be attributed to the sweeping of the slower moving probe molecules by the faster moving SC micelles that originated from the anode. This phenomenon was studied as a function of pH, sample plug length, as well as the concentration of organic solvent and salt in the sample matrix. The data suggested that the presence of large amounts of an organic solvent (such as ACN or methanol) and salts in the sample matrix not only induces sample dispersion due to the formation of a pressure-driven (hydrodynamic) flow, but may also lead to the formation of a double sample zone narrowing phenomenon by altering the local EOF dynamics within the separation system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1104-1111
Number of pages8
JournalElectrophoresis
Volume27
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Fluorecence imaging
  • Glass microchip

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