Optimization of capillary electrophoresis conditions for coupling to a mass spectrometer via a sheathless interface.

Journal of mass spectrometry : JMS

PubMedID: 10934447

Samskog J, Wetterhall M, Jacobsson S, Markides K. Optimization of capillary electrophoresis conditions for coupling to a mass spectrometer via a sheathless interface. J Mass Spectrom. 2000;35(7):919-24.
When optimizing a capillary electrophoresis/electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (CE/ESI-MS) system, consideration has to be given not only to the separation but also to the electrospray stability. Methods developed for CE/UV analysis of drugs and peptides were considered and modified to be suitable for a CE/MS system with a robust sheathless interface. Different concentrations of the organic modifiers acetonitrile, methanol and 2-propanol were used in the separation buffer. The type and concentrations of these modifiers were also compared with reference to electrospray stability, sensitivity and time of analysis. In addition, different ionic strengths in the buffers were evaluated with reference to electrospray stability. The repeatability was used for the estimation of electrospray stability. The degree to which these parameters influenced the separation and the ESI stability was studied using a nine-peptide standard mixture and the antibiotic drugs bacampicillin and ampicillin as test substances. The analysis time and resolution were used as measures of the efficiency of the separation. A time-of-flight MS analyzer was used since it has the potential advantages of becoming a better fit for integration of CE with MS owing to the speed and sensitivity of this mass analyzer. The detection limit, i.e. 1 microM, for bacampicillin was comparable to what could be achieved with CE/MS on a quadrupole instrument using selected ion monitoring and sheath flow ESI.