Capillary Electrophoresis-Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry.
Methods in molecular biology, January 2016
During the recent years, capillary electrophoresis (CE) has been fully established as a powerful tool in separation sciences as well as in element speciation. This road of success is based on the rapid analysis time, low sample requirements, high separation efficiency, and low operating costs of CE. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is known for superior detection and multielement capability. Consequently, the combination of both instruments is approved for analysis of complex sample types at low element concentrations which require high detection power. Also the diversity of potential applications brings CE-ICP-MS coupling into central focus of element speciation. The key to successful combination of ICP-MS as an (multi-)element selective detector for CE is the availability of a suitable and effective interface.Therefore, this chapter summarizes the most important and basic principles about coupling of capillary electrophoresis to ICP-MS. Specifically, the major requirements for interfacing are described and technical solutions are given. Such solutions include the closing of the electrical circuit from CE at the nebulization, the adoption of flow rates for efficient nebulization, the reduction of a suction flow through the capillary, caused by the nebulizer, and maintaining the high separation resolution from CE across the interface for ICP-MS detection. Additionally, detailed information is presented to determine and quantify the siphoning suction through the CE capillary by the nebulizer. Finally, two applications, namely, the manganese and selenium speciation in cerebrospinal fluid are shown as examples, providing the relevant operational parameter.
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