Free-flow electrophoresis (FFE) is a technique that performs an electrophoretic separation on a continuous stream of analyte as it flows through a planar flow channel. The electric field is applied perpendicularly to the flow to deflect analytes laterally according to their mobility as they flow through the separation channel. Miniaturization of FFE (μFFE) over the past 15 years has allowed analytical and preparative separation of small volume samples. Advances in chip design have improved separations by reducing interference from bubbles generated by electrolysis. Mechanisms of band broadening have been examined theoretically and experimentally to improve resolution in μFFE. Separations using various modes such as zone electrophoresis, isoelectric focusing, isotachophoresis, and field-step electrophoresis have been demonstrated.
- Free-flow electrophoresis