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Electrochromatography - A

Hybrid Separation Technique

Gel Filtration Chromatography + Capillary Electrophoresis =
[info shamelessly taken from Wikipedia

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The Idea

Combine the attributes of size exclusion chromatography

(gel filtration chromatography) with the benefits of gel
The two separation mechanisms both operate along the
length of a gel filtration chromatography column which
has an electric field gradient applied to the column.
Useful for the separation of large biomolecules

separated by size due to the gel filtration mechanism

separated by electrophoretic mobility (gel electrophoresis)
Also other chromatographic solute retention mechanisms
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The Basics - Gel Filtration or Permeation

Size exclusion chromatography (SEC)

particles are separated based on hydrodynamic volume

aqueous mobile phase = gel filtration chromatography
organic mobile phase = gel permeation chromatography

widely applied for purification and analysis of

synthetic or bio-polymers (proteins,
polysaccharides, & nucleic acids)

biopolymers - use a gel stationary phase (usually

polyacrylamide, dextran, or agarose) at low pressures
synthetic polymers - use either a silica or crosslinked
polystyrene stationary phase at higher pressures
Various mobile phases can be used
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The Basics Hydrodynamic Volume

Related to the radius of gyration - measure of the size of an object

calculated as the r.m.s. distance of the parts (or surface) of an object
from either its center of gravity or an axis
the radius of gyration is used to describe the dimensions of polymer
chain conformations of polymer samples are quasi infinite, change over
the "radius of gyration" discussed in polymer
physics must usually be
understood as a mean over
all polymer molecules of the
sample and over time
R determined experimentally with static light scattering as well as with
small angle neutron- and x-ray scattering.
The hydrodynamic radius is numerically similar, and can be measured
with size exclusion chromatography.
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SEC Illustrated

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Gel Filtration or Permeation Inst.

HPLC type setup

Liquid mobile phase
High pressure pumps
column (size exclusion
stationary phase)
Detector (UV, fluor., or
collector (as waste or
Data system (PC)
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Standard Gel Electrophoresis

Separation uses a gel" as the stationary

phase it is often a crosslinked polymer

For proteins or small nucleic acids

(DNA, RNA, or oligonucleotides) the gel
is usually composed of acrylamide and a
cross-linker (in various ratios) producing
mesh networks of polyacrylamide with
different sized pores.
For larger nucleic acids (greater than a
few hundred bases), agarose is the
preferred matrix.

"Electrophoresis" refers to the

electromotive force (EMF) that is used
to move the molecules through the gel

the molecules move through the matrix at

different rates,
usually determined by mass,
Motion is toward the positive anode if
negatively charged or toward the
negative cathode if positively charged

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The Basics Cap. Electrophoresis

Capillary electrophoresis (CE), also known as

capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE)

used to separate ionic species by their charge and

frictional forces.
traditional electrophoresis, electrically charged analytes
move in a conductive liquid medium under the
influence of an electric field
Introduced in the 1960s, the technique of capillary
electrophoresis (CE) was designed to separate species
based on their size to charge ratio in the interior of a
small capillary filled with an electrolyte
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The Basics Electrophoretic Mobility

analyte electrophoretic migration velocity (p)

toward the electrode of opposite charge is:
p = pE

p = electrophoretic mobility
E is the electric field strength

electrophoretic mobility at a given pH

z is the net charge of the analyte

the viscosity () of the medium
r is the Stokes radius of the analyte

D is the diffusion coefficient.

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The Basics electroosmotic flow

EOF does not significantly contribute to band broadening

as in pressure-driven chromatography.
Capillary electrophoresis separations can have several
hundred thousand theoretical plates
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The Basics electroosmotic flow

electroosmotic flow (EOF) of buffer is directed toward the cathode (-)

the electroosmotic flow of buffer > electrophoretic flow of the analytes
all analytes are carried along with the buffer toward the cathode
analytes do migrate toward the electrode of opposite charge

negatively charged analytes attracted to anode (+), counter to the EOF

positively charged analytes attracted to cathode (-) with the EOF

anionic analytes retained longer due to conflicting electrophoretic


small multiply charged cations migrate quickly and small multiply charged
anions are retained strongly

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The Instrumental Requirements

Capillary Electrophoresis

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high efficiency of CE is
combined with the high
selectivity of micro-HPLC
hybrid technique known as

utilizes columns similar to

those used in micro-HPLC
the mobile phase is driven
by an electric potential as
in CE
separation mechanism is
the result of the
combination of
partitioning and
electrophoretic migration.
CEC can be done in a CE
instrument with a microHPLC column

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Fast separation of 16 EPA priority pollutants. Column: EP-100-201.5-C18 (1.5mm non-porous ODS, Micra Scientific, Inc.,
Northbrook, IL). Mobile phase: 70% CH3CN in 30% 2mM TRIS.
Voltage: 55kV. Injection: 5kV/2s. Detection: LIF, ex: 257nm, em:

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Gradient Electrochromatography

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Gradient Electrochromatography

Separation of 16 PAHs
Column: EP-75-26-3-C18. Voltage: 20kV for the isocratic separations.
Injection: 5kV/5s. Detection: LIF, ex: 257nm, em: 400nm.
1. naphthalene, 2. acenaphthylene,
3. acenaphthene, 4. fluorene,
5. phenanthrene, 6. anthracene,
7. benzo[b]fluoranthene,
8. pyrene,
9. benz[a]anthracene,
10. chrysene,
11. benzo[b]fluoranthene,
12. benzo[k]fluoranthene,
13. benzo[a]pyrene,
14. dibenz[a,h]anthracene,
15. benzo[ghi]perylene, and
16. indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene.
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