Organic Capillary Electrophoresis Analysis System
(Chemical Analysis of Molecules, Peter Willis – Co-PI & Science Lead)
OCEANS is a chemical analyzer that couples capillary electrophoresis (a liquid-based organic molecule separation technique) with multiple detection modes. The multiple detection modes enable a broad high-sensitivity assessment of sample composition.
The unit includes both a front-end extractor for cell digestion with the ability to handle a wide variety of solid or liquid samples and an electrochemical sensor array for measurement of bulk sample properties like pH and oxidation/reduction potential.
Capillary electrophoresis (CE) separates a wide range of molecules based on their charge, size, and mobility while in the presence of an electric field. OCEANS uses customized CE separations prior to each of the specific detection modes.
Capillary Electrophoresis with ElectroSpray Ionization Mass Spectrometry (CE-ESI-MS)
The CE-ESI-MS enables a broad survey of biomolecules at high sensitivity and produces data for identifying molecules based both on their mass-to-charge ratios and on the time when they exit the CE capillary. This process provides analysis of biologically important fatty acids after a derivatization step (a chemical reaction between the target fatty acids and an easily ionizable functional group). The software used for knowledge compression of MS data sets prioritizes the most relevant data.
Capillary Electrophoresis with Laser Induced Fluorescence (CE-LIF)
The CE-LIF is the most sensitive technique available for analysis of amino acids and their chirality. Amino acids are turned fluorescent after a derivatization step (reaction with a fluorescent dye).
Capillary Electrophoresis with Capacitively Coupled Contactless Conductivity Detection (CE-C4D)
The CE-C4D enables a broad survey of metabolically important organic molecules such as di- and tricarboxylic acids. It also measures key inorganic metabolic molecules like phosphate.