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Abstract

Abstract

Electrophoretic separation of a mixture of chemical species is a fundamental technique of great usefulness in biology, health care, and forensics. In capillary electrophoresis (which has evolved from its predecessor, slab-gel electrophoresis), the sample migrates through a single microcapillary instead of through the network of pores in a gel. A fundamental design problem is to minimize dispersion in the separation direction. Molecular diffusion is inevitable and sets a theoretical limit on the best separation that can be achieved. But in practice, there are a number of effects arising out of the interplay between fluid flow, chemistry, thermal effects, and electric fields that result in enhanced dispersion. This paper reviews the subject of fluid flow in such capillary microchannels and examines the various causes of enhanced dispersion that limit the efficiency of separation.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.fluid.38.050304.092053
2006-01-21
2024-06-17
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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