Femtoliter high-performance liquid chromatography using extended-nano channels
A high-performance liquid chromatography system with 35 fL sample volume was developed using extended-nano (10–1000 nm) fluidic channels. For many years, miniaturization and enhancement of separation performance have been important issues in separation science. Recently, we have reported an ultimate miniaturization of chromatography using extended-nano channels with extremely high separation efficiency of 7 × 106 plates per m. However, the real theoretical plate number was limited to 103 due to the short nanochannel length. In this paper, the theoretical plate number was dramatically increased by developing a new high-pressure system with a very long nanochannel. A separation experiment of two fluorescent dyes demonstrated that the theoretical plate number could be improved to 1.4 × 104, which is much higher than that with conventional HPLC. The theoretical plate number is also comparable to those of capillary monolithic columns. The extremely small sample volume of extended-nano chromatography could support innovative analytical techniques capable of analyzing a single living cell in the near future.