Electrophoresis, Vol.42, No.4, 369-373, 2021
Two capillary approach for a multifunctional nanoflow sheath liquid interface for capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry
CE hyphenated to ESI-MS (CE-ESI-MS) is a well-established technique to analyze charged analytes in complex samples. Although various interfaces for CE-MS coupling are commercially available, the development of alternatives which combine sensitivity, simplicity, and robustness remains a topic of research. In this work, a nanoflow sheath liquid CE-MS interface with two movable capillaries inside a glass emitter is described. The setup enables aseparation modeand aconditioning modeto guide the separation capillary effluent either into the electrospray or to the waste, respectively. This enables to exclude parts of the analysis from MS detection and unwanted matrix components reaching the mass spectrometer, comparable to divert valves in LC-MS coupling. Also, this function improves the overall robustness of the system by reduction of particles blocking the emitter. Preconditioning with electrospray interfering substances and even the application of coating materials for every analysis is enabled, even while the separation capillary is built into the interface with running electrospray. The functionality is demonstrated by analyses of heavy matrix bioreactor samples. Overall, this innovation offers a more convenient installation of the interface, improved handling with an extended lifetime of the emitter tips and additional functions compared to previous approaches, while keeping the higher sensitivity of nanoflow CE-MS-coupling.