Anal Chem 2011 Nov 24;83(22):8748-55. Epub 2011 Oct 24.
Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
A capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry (CE-MS) interface utilizing a flow-through microvial is used to ensure the electric continuity and supply the catholyte and mobilizer solutions during the capillary isoelectric focusing (cIEF) and mobilization process. The flow-through microvial provides a stable chemical environment and helps to improve the ionization efficiency without significantly diluting the analyte. The CE-MS interface facilitates the transfer of the mobilized cIEF effluent to the site of electrospray ionization, and the gaseous ions can be detected directly by a mass spectrometer. It also allows for complete focusing and mobilization processes to be performed automatically in programmed sequences with commercial CE systems. Two different strategies, using either a part of the capillary or the flow-through microvial of the CE-MS interface as the catholyte reservoir for bare fused silica capillaries or neutral coated capillaries, respectively, were developed for automated cIEF-electrospray ionization (ESI)-MS. Reasonable separation efficiency was achieved using proper concentration of carrier ampholytes and suitable strategies of electroosmotic/electrophoretic mobilization.