Quantitative description of analyte migration behavior based on dynamic complexation in capillary electrophoresis with one or more additives

Xuejun Peng, Michael T. Bowser, Philip Britz-McKibbin, Gwendolyn M. Bebault, Jamie R. Morris, David D Y Chen

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67 Scopus citations


A comprehensive theory is proposed to describe the migration behavior of analytes in capillary electrophoresis (CE) when one or more additives are present in the buffer solution. This theory amalgamates and extends the previous work done by others. The capacity factor (k') in this theory is defined as the product of the equilibrium constant and the additive concentration, thus k' changes linearly with additive concentration. The net electrophoretic mobility of an analyte is a function of k', therefore, it can be changed by varying the additive concentration. Three parameters are needed to predict the mobilty of an analyte in a one-additive CE system: the mobilty of the free analyte, the mobility of the complex, and the equilibrium constant for the analyte-additive interaction (which determines the fraction of the free analyte at different additive concentration). When additives are used, the change in viscosity obscures this relationship, therefore, a viscosity correction factor is required to convert all mobilities to an ideal state where the viscosity remains constant. The migration behaviour of an analyte in a solution with multiple additives can be predicted and controlled, once the equilibrium constants of the interactions between the analyte and each of the additives are obtained seperately. β-cyclodextrin are used as additives and the migration behaviour of phenol, p-nitrophenol, and benzoic acid are studied as a model system to verify this theory. when the necessary viscosity correction factor is included, the net electrophoretic mobilities of the analytes obtained from experimental results agree with the values predicted by the theory basedon dynamic complexation. Although only experiments with one and two additives were carried out to verify the theory, the equations apply to situations when more than two additives are used. The relationship between the theories of electrophoresis and chromatography is clarified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-716
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 1997


  • Additives
  • Analyte migration behavior
  • Capillary electrophoresis
  • Dynamic complexation
  • Viscosity correction


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