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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Trace ion analysis of sea water by capillary electrophoresis: determination of strontium and lithium pre-concentrated by transient isotachophoresis.

The applicability of capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) to ions having relatively low natural occurrences in sea water is limited by method's relatively poor concentration detection sensitivity. A combination of CZE with indirect UV detection and transient isotachophoresis (tITP) pre-concentration was developed to evolve the CZE practical utility towards the quantitative determination of the minor sea water cationic components, strontium and lithium. The ITP stacking criterion at the initial stage of a CZE separation was met by taking a highly mobile sodium, the principle matrix cation, to perform the role of a leading ion, whereas the moderately mobile sample macrocomponents, Ca2+ and Mg2+, acted as the terminating ion. The carrier electrolyte, consisting of 10 mM 4-methylbenzylamine and 1.5 mM citric acid at pH 4.8, was found to be optimal to accommodate both analyte cations in the ITP range and then separate them in the CZE mode, with relative standard deviations for migration times from 0.06-0.15% and for peak areas from 4-8%. The limits of detection were 1.3 mg l(-1) Sr2+ and 0.12 mg l(-1) Li+. The developed method was applied to the analysis of a surface sea water sample and a sea water reference material. The results were in good agreement with those obtained by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) and electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry (ET-AAS).[1]


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