On-Line Focusing of Flavin Derivatives Using Dynamic pH Junction-Sweeping Capillary Electrophoresis with Laser-Induced Fluorescence Detection
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Simple yet effective methods to enhance concentration sensitivity is needed for capillary electrophoresis (CE) to become a practical method to analyze trace levels of analytes in real samples. In this report, the development of a novel on-line preconcentration technique combining dynamic pH junction and sweeping modes of focusing is applied to the sensitive and selective analysis of three flavin derivatives: riboflavin, flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Picomolar (pM) detectability of flavins by CE with laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) detection is demonstrated through effective focusing of large sample volumes (up to 22% capillary length) using a dual pH junction-sweeping focusing mode. This results in greater than a 1,200-fold improvement in sensitivity relative to conventional injection methods, giving a limit of detection (S/N = 3) of approximately 4.0 pM for FAD and FMN. Flavin focusing is examined in terms of analyte mobility dependence on buffer pH, borate complexation and SDS interaction. Dynamic pH junction-sweeping extends on-line focusing to both neutral (hydrophobic) and weakly acidic (hydrophilic) species and is considered useful in cases when either conventional sweeping or dynamic pH junction techniques used alone are less effective for certain classes of analytes. Enhanced focusing performance by this hyphenated method was demonstrated by greater than a 4-fold reduction in flavin bandwidth, as compared to either sweeping or dynamic pH junction, reflected by analyte detector bandwidths <0.20 cm. Novel on-line focusing strategies are required to improve sensitivity in CE, which may be applied toward more effective biochemical analysis methods for diverse types of analytes.
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