A two‐step method for rapid characterization of electroosmotic flows in capillary electrophoresis

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Oct 12, 2017
  • Author: Wenjing Zhang, Muyi He, Tao Yuan, Wei Xu


The measurement of electroosmotic flow (EOF) is important in a capillary electrophoresis (CE) experiment in terms of performance optimization and stability improvement. Although several methods exist, there are demanding needs to accurately characterize ultra‐low electroosmotic flow rates (EOF rates), such as in coated capillaries used in protein separations. In this work, a new method, called the two‐step method, was developed to accurately and rapidly measure EOF rates in a capillary, especially for measuring the ultra‐low EOF rates in coated capillaries. In this two‐step method, the EOF rates were calculated by measuring the migration time difference of a neutral marker in two consecutive experiments, in which a pressure driven was introduced to accelerate the migration and the DC voltage was reversed to switch the EOF direction. Uncoated capillaries were first characterized by both this two‐step method and a conventional method to confirm the validity of this new method. Then this new method was applied in the study of coated capillaries. Results show that this new method is not only fast in speed, but also better in accuracy.

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