Capillary Electrophoresis

Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is uniquely suited to the analysis of cellular samples due to the small inner diameter of typical capillaries (5-100 microns), which are well-matched to the size of isolated neurons (5-500 microns). The use of small capillaries leads to improved mass sensitivity and faster separations.

Multiple detection schemes are utilized in the Sweedler research group, including offline coupling of CE to MALDI-MS, absorbance, and laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) of both natively fluorescent and derivatized molecules. LIF is a sensitive detection method for CE of cellular samples with detection limits in the attomole range for many small molecules.

Current CE projects include:

Improving Cell Sampling using Optical Trapping

Enhancing Native Fluorescence Detection

Interfacing CE with Mass spectrometry
for Single Cell Measurements

Measuring Nitric Oxide and Nitric Oxide-Related
Compounds in Neurons

Understanding Serotonin Catabolism

Examining the Distribution, Release and
Biosynthesis of D-Amino Acids

For a review, see: T. Lapainis, J.V. Sweedler, Contributions of capillary electrophoresis to neuroscience, J. Chromatogr. A 1184, 2008, 144-158.