Send to

Choose Destination
Anal Chem. 2011 Aug 15;83(16):6154-62. doi: 10.1021/ac200268f. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Coupled isotachophoretic preconcentration and electrophoretic separation using bidirectional isotachophoresis.

Author information

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States.


We present a novel technique for coupling isotachophoretic preconcentration and electrophoretic separation using bidirectional isotachophoresis (ITP). Bidirectional ITP simultaneously sets up sharp ITP interfaces between relatively high- and low-mobility cations and high- and low-mobility anions. These two interfaces can migrate toward each other and be described as ion concentration shock waves. We here demonstrate a bidirectional ITP process in which we use the interaction of these anionic and cationic ITP shock waves to trigger a transformation from ITP preconcentration to electrophoretic separation. We use anionic ITP to focus anionic sample species prior to shock interaction. The interaction of the counter-propagating anionic and cationic ITP shocks then changes the local pH (and ionic strength) of the focused analyte zones. Under this new condition, the analytes no longer focus and begin to separate electrophoretically. The method provides faster and much less dispersive transition from ITP preconcentration to electrophoretic separation compared with traditional (unidirectional) transient ITP. It eliminates the need for intermediate steps between focusing and separation, such as manual buffer exchanges. We illustrate the technique with numerical simulations of species transport equations. We have validated our simulations with experimental visualization of bidirectional ITP zones. We then show the effectiveness of the technique by coupling ITP preconcentration and high-resolution separation of a 1 kbp DNA ladder via shock interaction in bidirectional ITP.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center