Determination of enantiomers by FESI-sweeping with an acid-labile sweeper in nonaqueous capillary electrophoresis†
In this work, a facile and highly efficient on-line concentration strategy based on a coupling of field enhanced sample injection (FESI) and sweeping was developed for the determination of trace enantiomers (propranolol, PL) by nonaqueous capillary electrophoresis (NACE). In this FESI-sweeping method, the use of a sample of high acidity and low conductivity (pH* = 2.5, 4.0 μS cm−1) allowed for a large amount of analyte injection. Then, the concentration of the analytes was carried out by sweeping based on the interaction of an acid-labile anionic selector, di-n-butyl L-tartrate-boric acid complex acid, and cationic analytes. Simultaneously, the concentrated analytes were released and focused at the boundary of the acid sample solution and separation buffer due to the decomposition of the selector in the acid sample solution. Under the optimum conditions, a 21 000-fold sensitivity enhancement upon normal capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) was achieved for PL enantiomers. The detection limits of R-propranolol and S-propranolol were 0.26 ng mL−1 and 0.31 ng mL−1, respectively. Eventually, the FESI-sweeping method was applied to detect PL enantiomers in plasma, saliva, and urine.