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Technology

Parallel capillary electrophoresis (CE) technology enables medium- to large-scale electro-driven analytical separations of small molecules and biomolecules with UV absorbance detection.

Systems are comprised of an exchangeable capillary array assembly, a fixed optical detection platform, a fluid pumping system and an automatic tray positioning system. Software has been customized for each application, providing the necessary instrument control, data acquisition and data analysis.

The array contains 96 capillaries of 50 μm or 75 µm inner diameter and 200μm outer diameter. Length can be altered to deliver the resolution and speed you need. The inlet side of the capillary array is arranged in an 8 x 12 format, with electrodes on either side of each capillary. This allows direct injection via vacuum or voltage from standard 96-well plates.

Capillaries are aligned in parallel in the detection window, which is positioned between the LED light source and the detector assembly. The outlets of the capillaries are bundled to a common reservoir, where they are connected to a ground. The capillary arrays are modular and can be exchanged in less than five minutes.

Room temperature air is circulated around the capillaries to modulate the temperature during CE separation. Alternatively, a Peltier cooler is available to actively cool the array for performing higher-current applications, such as log P or chiral analysis.

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The optical platform consists of a UV light source, collimating lens, UV camera lens and a 1024-element linear photo diode array (PDA) detector. The UV light is provided by a zinc (214 nm), cadmium (229 nm) or mercury (254 nm) lamp. A broadband deuterium source may also be used.

Detection is performed at a fixed, single wavelength determined by the UV lamp and an interference filter. Light from the lamp passes through a collimating lens, the detection windows of the capillaries and a focusing UV camera lens before being spatially imaged onto the PDA. The capillary array is imaged continuously, providing real-time, online UV detection for 96 different CE separations.

The power supply provides appropriate voltage for electrokinetic sample injection and electrophoresis. The recommended operating limits are +/-16 kV, 3 mA total current (30 µA per capillary.) Positive or negative polarity power supplies are available and can be easily interchanged.

A syringe pump provides controlled pressure or vacuum to the outlet reservoir of the capillary array. Vacuum can be used for sample injection, introducing buffer into the capillary array or for performing vacuum-assisted electrophoresis.

A distribution valve allows up to five different buffer bottles and a waste bottle to be simultaneously connected to the system. Systems configured for DNA and RNA oligonucleotide analysis utilize a high-pressure pump in place of the syringe pump to account for the increased viscosity of gel separation matrices.

Software automates capillary conditioning, sample injection, electrophoresis separation and data processing. You can visualize results in your preferred format and share reports easily.

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