Analytica chimica acta

Advanced portrayal of SMIL coating by allying CZE performance with in-capillary topographic and charge-related surface characterization.

PMID 27998477


A successive multiple ionic polymer layer (SMIL) coating composed of four layers improved the capillary electrophoretic separation of a recombinant major birch pollen allergen and closely related variants when poly(acrylamide-co-2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propansulfonate) (55% PAMAMPS) replaced dextran sulfate as terminal SMIL layer. 55% PAMAMPS decelerated the electroosmotic flow (EOF) due to its lower charge density. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to investigate SMIL properties directly on the inner capillary surface and to relate them to EOF measurements and results of associated CZE separations of a mixture of model proteins and peptides that were performed in the same capillary. For the first time, AFM-based biosensing topography and recognition imaging mode (TREC) under liquid conditions was applied for a sequential characterization of the inner surface of a SMIL coated capillary after selected treatments including pristine SMIL, SMIL after contact with the model mixture, after alkaline rinsing, and the replenishment of the terminal polyelectrolyte layer. A cantilever with tip-tethered avidin was used to determine the charge homogeneity of the SMIL surface in the TREC mode. SMIL coated rectangular capillaries with 100xa0μm internal diameter assured accessibility of the inner surface for this cantilever type. Observed changes in CZE performance and EOF mobility during capillary treatment were also reflected by alterations in surface roughness and charge distribution of the SMIL coating. A renewal of the terminal SMIL layer restored the original surface properties of SMIL and the separation performance. The alliance of the novel TREC approach and CZE results allows for an improved understanding and a comprehensive insight in effects occurring on capillary coatings.