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Electrophoresis. 2008 Apr;29(7):1548-55. doi: 10.1002/elps.200700611.

The first contribution of capillary electrophoresis to the study of abiotic origins of homochirality: investigation of the enantioselective adsorption of 3-carboxy adipic acid on minerals.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain.


CE with UV detection was used for the first time to determine the enantioselective adsorption of the short-chain tricarboxylic acid, 3-carboxy adipic acid, on minerals as a mean of investigating plausible mechanisms for the origin of biochemical homochirality on Earth. The use of vancomycine as chiral selector in the separation buffer using the partial filling technique enabled the separation of the two enantiomers of this organic acid in about 12 min. Taking into account that this compound has a low absorption of the UV light, and in order to achieve the sensitivity needed to determine the enantiomeric excess of samples of 3-carboxy adipic acid adsorbed on minerals, we applied a strategy consisting of a field-amplified sample stacking together with the use of a bubble capillary and detection at low wavelength (192 nm). This combination enabled an LOD of about 10(-7) M and the determination of the enantiomeric excess of 3-carboxy adipic acid adsorbed on calcite and feldspar mineral samples at subnanomol levels of this acid. Results showed that an enantioselective adsorption of the enantiomers of 3-carboxy adipic acid on minerals took place.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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