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Electrophoresis. 2013 Jan;34(2):260-8. doi: 10.1002/elps.201200150. Epub 2012 Dec 18.

Chiral separation of β-blockers by MEEKC using neutral microemulsion: Analysis of separation mechanism and further elucidation of resolution equation.

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National Key Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, P. R. China.


Based on the investigation of the effect of microemulsion charge on the chiral separation, a new chiral separation method with MEEKC employing neutral microemulsion was established. The method used a microemulsion containing 3.0% (w/v) neutral surfactant Tween 20 and 0.8% (w/v, 30 mM) dibutyl l-tartrate in 40 mM sodium tetraborate buffer to separate the enantiomers of β-blockers. The effect of major parameters on the chiral separation was investigated. The applied voltage had little effect on the resolution, but the chiral separation could be improved by suppressing the EOF. Nine racemic β-blockers obtained relatively good enantioseparation after appropriate concentrations of tetradecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide were added into the microemulsion to suppress the EOF. These results were explained based on the analysis of the separation mechanism of the method and deduced separation equations. The resolution equation of the method was further elucidated. It was found that the fourth term in the resolution equation, an additional term compared to the conventional resolution equation for column chromatography, represents the ratio of the relative movement distance between the analyte and microemulsion droplets relative to the effective capillary length. It can be regarded as a correction for the effective capillary length. These findings are significant for the development of the theory of MEEKC and the development of new chiral MEEKC method.

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