Sheath-flow electrochemical detection of amino acids with a copper wire electrode in capillary electrophoresis

Junji Inoue, Takashi Kaneta, Totaro Imasaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Here, we report the detection of native amino acids using a sheath-flow electrochemical detector with a working electrode made of copper wire. A separation capillary that was inserted into a platinum tube in the detector acted as a grounded electrode for electrophoresis and as a flow channel for sheath liquid. Sheath liquid flowed outside the capillary to support the transport of the separated analytes to the working electrode for electrochemical detection. The copper wire electrode was aligned at the outlet of the capillary in a wall-jet configuration. Amino acids injected into the capillary were separated following elution from the end of the capillary and detection by the copper electrode. Three kinds of copper electrodes with different diameters-50, 125, and 300 μm-were examined to investigate the effect of the electrode diameter on sensitivity. The peak widths of the analytes were independent of the diameter of the working electrode, while the 300-μm electrode led to a decrease in the signal-to-noise ratio compared with the 50- and 125-μm electrodes, which showed no significant difference. The flow rate of the sheath liquid was also varied to optimize the detection conditions. The limits of detection for amino acids ranged from 4.4 to 27 μM under optimal conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2743-2747
Number of pages5
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • Amino acids
  • Amperometry
  • Capillary electrophoresis
  • Electrochemical detection
  • Sheath flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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