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Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is a separation technique based on the movement of electrically charged particles in a liquid medium when is applied an electric voltage. CE provides a different separation mechanism than conventional chromatographic methods. CE separation depends on the electrophoretic mobility of ions through the gel, depending on molecular mass, molecular shape, and charge. CE a relatively new analytical technique has been accepted as a powerful tool for diagnostic applications suitable for detecting important changes in the metabolic profiles of body fluids.
Fig.1 Applications of CE. (Wang, 2022)
CE is considered to be a good analytical technique for the detection of different organic molecules including SCFAs. CE has been successfully applied to the analysis and detection of SCFAs in different biological materials, including fecal samples. Unlike chromatography, the separation mechanism of CE is based on the fluidity of the analyte inside the capillary tube. When a voltage is applied along to the silica fused capillary, an electric double layer forms and produces the electroosmotic flow (EOF), which is responsible to drive both cations and anions toward the cathode. Therefore, the separation of SCFA depends on its electrophoretic mobility, which is proportional to the charge of the ion and inversely proportional to the molecular mass and molecular shape (diameter).
Since SCFAs are volatile and feces contain high concentrations of microbes, it is important to keep the biological material in appropriate conditions after its collection, to prevent sample deterioration. Samples are usually kept at -80℃.
An alternative CE approach can provide fast analysis times without the need for a derivatization step. Compared with other chromatographic techniques, CE presents some advantages like low cost of analysis, reduced sample and solvent consumption, and low band-broadening promoting great peak resolution. CE seems to be an interesting analytical separation technique, very useful for screening analysis or quantification of common fatty acids in different substrates, with inherent advantages of short analysis time and simple sample preparation steps compared to classical methods, making it a separation technique.
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For Research Use Only. Not intended for use in food manufacturing or medical procedures (diagnostics or therapeutics). Do Not Use in Humans.