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Analytica chimica acta

Combining selection valve and mixing chamber for nanoflow gradient generation: Toward developing a liquid chromatography cartridge coupled with mass spectrometer for protein and peptide analysis.


PMID 26320807

Abstract

Toward developing a micro HPLC cartridge, we have recently built a high-pressure electroosmotic pump (EOP). However, we do not recommend people to use this pump to deliver an organic solvent directly, because it often makes the pump rate unstable. We have experimented several approaches to address this issue, but none of them are satisfactory. Here, we develop an innovative approach to address this issue. We first create an abruption (a dead-volume) within a fluid conduit. We then utilize an EOP to withdraw, via a selection valve, a train of eluent solutions having decreasing eluting power into the fluid conduit. When these solutions are further aspirated through the dead-volume, these solutions are partially mixed, smoothening concentration transitions between two adjacent eluent solutions. As these solutions are pushed back, through the dead-volume again, a smooth gradient profile is formed. In this work, we characterize this scheme for gradient formation, and we incorporate this approach with a high-pressure EOP, a nanoliter injection valve, and a capillary column, yielding a micro HPLC system. We then couple this micro HPLC with an electrospray ionization - mass spectrometer for peptide and protein separations and identifications.

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