Electromigration separation techniques often demand certain compounds in the electrolyte to achieve the required selectivity and efficiency. These compounds, including the electrolyte itself, ampholytes, polymeric compounds for sieving, complexing agents, tensides, etc. are often non-volatile. Thus, interference with the electrospray ionization process is a common issue, impeding direct coupling of such electrolyte systems to mass spectrometry. Still, several options exist to obtain mass spectra after separation, including offline fractionation, alternative ionization, dilution, or the change to volatile constituents. In the first part of this article, these methods are discussed. However, all of these options are a compromise of separation performance and sensitivity of mass spectrometric detection. Two-dimensional capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-CE-MS) systems represent a promising alternative to the aforementioned challenges, as they allow the use of existing methods with best separation performance in combination with sensitive mass characterization. In this context, the second part of this article is dedicated to the advantages, limitations, and applications of this approach. Finally, an outlook towards future developments is given.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 4, 2018
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