Microemulsion Electrokinetic Chromatography.
Methods in molecular biology, January 2016
Microemulsion electrokinetic chromatography (MEEKC) is a special mode of capillary electrophoresis employing a microemulsion as carrier electrolyte. Analytes may partition between the aqueous phase of the microemulsion and its oil droplets which act as a pseudostationary phase. The technique is well suited for the separation of neutral species, in which case charged oil droplets (obtained by addition of an anionic or cationic surfactant) are present. A single set of separation parameters may be sufficient for separation of a wide range of analytes belonging to quite different chemical classes. Fine-tuning of resolution and analysis time may be achieved by addition of organic solvents, by changes in the nature of the surfactants (and cosurfactants) used to stabilize the microemulsion, or by various additives that may undergo some additional interactions with the analytes. Besides the separation of neutral analytes (which may be the most important application area of MEEKC), it can also be employed for cationic and/or anionic species. In this chapter, MEEKC conditions are summarized that have proven their reliability for routine analysis. Furthermore, the mechanisms encountered in MEEKC allow an efficient on-capillary preconcentration of analytes, so that the problem of poor concentration sensitivity of ultraviolet absorbance detection is circumvented.
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