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Background theory and applications of microemulsion electrokinetic chromatography

Journal of Chromatography A
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0021-9673(00)00088-1
  • Biology
  • Pharmacology


Abstract Microemulsion electrokinetic chromatography (MEEKC) is an electrodriven separation technique. Separations are achieved using microemulsions which are nanometre-sized oil droplets suspended in aqueous buffer. The surface tension between the oil and water components is reduced by covered the oil droplet with an anionic surfactant such as sodium dodecyl sulphate and a co-surfactant such as a short-chain alcohol. This review summarises the various microemulsion types and compositions that have been used in MEEKC. The effects of key operating variables such as pH and temperature are also described. The application areas of MEEKC are also described in some detail. MEEKC has been applied to a wide range of water-soluble and insoluble both charged and neutral compounds. Examples are described which include analysis of derivatised sugars, proteins, pesticides and a wide range of pharmaceuticals. At present there are only a limited number of publications describing the use of MEEKC but it is anticipated that this number will increase rapidly in the near future as more awareness of the separation possibilities that MEEKC presents increases.

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