Analysis of Inorganic Polyphosphates by Capillary Gel Electrophoresis
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CitationLee, Andrew and George M. Whitesides. 2010. Analysis of inorganic polyphosphates by capillary gel electrophoresis. 82(16): 6838–6846.
AbstractThis paper describes the development of a method that uses capillary gel electrophoresis (CGE) to analyze mixtures of inorganic polyphosphate ((P\(_i\))\(_n\)). Resolution of (P\(_i\))\(_n\) on the basis of n, the number of residues of dehydrated phosphate, is accomplished by CGE using capillaries filled with solutions of poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) (PDMA) and indirect detection by the UV absorbance of a chromophore, terephthalate, added to the running buffer. The method is capable of resolving peaks representing (P\(_i\))\(_n\) with n up to 70; preparation and use of authentic standards enables the identification of peaks for (P\(_i\))\(_n\) with n = 1−10. The main advantages of this method over previously reported methods for analyzing mixtures of (P\(_i\))\(_n\) (e.g., gel electrophoresis, CGE using polyacrylamide-filled capillaries) are its resolution, convenience, and reproducibility; gel-filled capillaries are easily regenerated by pumping in fresh, low-viscosity solutions of PDMA. The resolution is comparable to that of ion-exchange chromatography and detection of (P\(_i\))\(_n\) by suppressed conductivity. The method is useful for analyzing (P\(_i\))\(_n\) generated by the dehydration of P\(_i\) at low temperature (125−140 °C) with urea, in a reaction that may have been important in prebiotic chemistry. The method should also be useful for characterizing mixtures of other anionic, oligomeric, or polymeric species without an intrinsic chromophore (e.g., sulfated polysaccharides, oligomeric phospho-diesters).
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