Statically adsorbed or covalently coupled capillary coatings are of crucial importance in capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry for the separation of peptides and proteins. So far, published coating strategies and commercially available coated capillaries have a limited pH-stability so that the analysis at strongly acidic pH is limited, or harsh rinsing procedures for biological sample analysis cannot be applied. We here present a capillary coating based on Si-C linkages to N-acryloylamido ethoxyethanol (AAEE) with a new synthetic strategy including LiAlH4 surface reaction. We optimized the coating method with emphasis on stability and reproducibility applying harsh rinsing procedures (strong acid, strong base and organic solvent), using the electroosmotic mobility and separation efficiency of tryptic peptides as performance measure. Complete synthesis is performed in less than 2 days for up to 8 capillaries in parallel of more than 16 m total length. Intra- and inter-batch reproducibility were determined regarding electroosmotic mobility, separation efficiency and migration time precision in CE-MS separations of tryptically digested bovine serum albumin. Coating stability towards rinsing with strong acid (1 mol/L HCl), organic solvent (acetonitrile) and strong base (1 mol/L NaOH) was investigated. Outstanding performance was found for single capillaries. However, inter-capillary reproducibility is discussed critically. The new coating was successfully applied for reproducible CE-MS separation of large proteins in diluted serum, medium-sized peptides and small and highly charged polyamines in fish egg extracts using a very acidic background electrolyte containing 0.75 mol/L acetic acid and 0.25 mol/L formic acid (pH 2.2).
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