PITTCON 2015 Symposium – March 8-12 2015 – New Orleans, USA

IAEAC at PITTCON 2015: Ultrafast electromigrative separations: capillary versus chip format

Frank-Michael Matysik and Antje Baeumner from the Institute of Analytical Chemistry, Chemo- and Biosensors at the University of Regensburg, Germany, organized this year’s IAEAC symposium at PITTCON 2015 in New Orleans. The intention of this symposium was to stimulate an open discussion of advances in the field of ultrafast electromigrative separations performed on chip platforms or in short capillaries and to compare advantages and limitations of both approaches in terms of performance characteristics.
In many fields of analytical chemistry including environmental and bioanalytical studies there is an increasing demand for high-throughput determinations to generate comprehensive analytical information derived from many individual samples in short time. In the context of electromigrative techniques, which present very attractive tools for the separation of charged analytes in complex matrices, separation path length and electric field strength are the key parameters to speed up separations. Ultrafast electromigrative separations can be managed by using chip platforms with short separation channels or by means of very short fused silica capillaries. There are many challenging instrumental aspects associated with both approaches including concepts for injection and detection as well as strategies for fast sample change, which were addressed in the symposium by the invited speakers.
Dr. Matysik from the University of Regensburg, Germany, started the symposium off with a short overview on general aspects of ultrafast electromigrative separations followed by most recent developments of his group concerning ultrafast short-capillary electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry or electrochemical detection. Dr. Lunte from Kansas University, USA, then presented advances in the field of chip electrophoresis in conjunction with electrochemical and laser induced fluorescence detection. She presented a lab-on-a-sheep concept with her integrated separation technology. Dr. Hauser from the University of Basel, Switzerland, provided a comprehensive comparative discussion of chip vs. short-capillary electrophoresis and also focused on contactless conductivity detection. Dr. Moini from the George Washington University, USA, described an alternative approach to ultrafast electrophoresis – mass spectrometry based on short capillaries with small inner diameters. Finally, Dr. Ryant Kelly from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA, discussed new injection strategies for high performance capillary electrophoresis separations in microchips and also in capillaries.
The symposium was very well attended and sparked interesting discussions among the speakers and participants. At the end of the morning it became clear that both approaches are highly comparable with respect to their performances each with unique advantages in their specific settings.

Prof. Dr. Antje Baeumner

April 21 2015