Analytica chimica acta

Polydopamine-functionalized poly(ether ether ketone) tube for capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry.

PMID 28916041


Capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS) is a hyphenated technique that combines the advantages like low sample consumption, high separation efficiency, short analytical time in CE and high sensitivity, powerful molecular structure elucidation in MS. Polyimide-coated fused silica capillary has become the most dominant capillary for CE, but it suffers from swelling and aminolysis of polyimide coating when treated with organic solvents and alkaline buffer in the CE-MS interface in which the polyimide coating at the end of the capillary is exposed to the solution, and this phenomenon can result in current instability, irregular electrospray and clogging at outlet after prolonged use. In this work, poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) capillary was explored as separation capillary for CE-MS. The problems like swelling and aminolysis of polyimide coating were solved due to the high thermal and chemical stability of PEEK material. After modification with polydopamine, PEEK capillary (PD-PEEK) can generate adjustable electroosmotic flow and provide good separation selectivity. The zwitterion polymer of polydopamine can provide cathodic electroosmotic flow (EOF) at high pH value (pH ≥ 5) and anodic EOF at low pH value (pH ≤ 4), and the EOF mobility can also be adjusted by controlling the modification time of polydopamine. Good separation performance was obtained in the analysis for several classes of compounds including amino acids, phenols and plant hormones at rational EOF direction. Repeatability of the PD-PEEK capillary was studied, with relative standard deviations for intra-day, inter-day runs and between tubes less than 4.94%.

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