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Aiming to achieve high-performance analysis of DNA fragments using microchip electrophoresis, we developed a novel sample injection method, which was given the name of floating electrokinetic supercharging (FEKS). In the method, electrokinetic injection (EKI) and ITP preconcentration of samples was performed in a separation channel, connecting two reservoir ports (P3 and P4) on a cross-geometry microchip. At these two stages, side channels, crossing the separation channel, and their ports (P1 and P2) were electrically floated. After the ITP-stacked zones passed the cross-part, they were eluted for detection by using leading ions from P1 and P2 that enabled electrophoresis mode changing rapidly from ITP to zone electrophoresis (ZE). Possible sample leakage at the cross-part toward P1 and P2 was studied in detail on the basis of computer simulation using a CFD-ACE+ software and real experiments, through which it was validated that the analyte recovery to the separation channel was almost complete. The FEKS method successfully contributed to higher resolution and shorter analysis time of DNA fragments on the cross-microchip owing to more rapid switching from ITP status to ZE separation in comparison with our previous EKS procedure realized on a single-channel microchip. Without any degradation of resolution, the achieved LODs were on average ten times better than using conventional pinched injection.


Takeshi Hirokawa, Yoichi Takayama, Akihiro Arai, Zhongqi Xu. Study of a novel sample injection method (floating electrokinetic supercharging) for high-performance microchip electrophoresis of DNA fragments. Electrophoresis. 2008 May;29(9):1829-35

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PMID: 18393341

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