Evaluation of the Electrophoretic Behaviour of Opioid Peptides Separation by Capillary Electrophoresis-Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Anal Chim Acta. 2006 Sep 1;577(1):68-76. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2006.06.035. Epub 2006 Jun 23.


A general equation established in a previous study was used to model the electrophoretic mobility of a series of opioid peptides as a function of pH of the separation electrolyte. The concordance between the predicted and the experimental electrophoretic mobilities was excellent and the optimum pH for the separation of the modelled compounds could be predicted from a limited amount of experimental data. The equations were also useful for the accurate determination of the ionization constants of the polyprotic analytes. It was also demonstrated that if ionization constant values are known, the CE separations of the studied peptides can easily be predicted taking into account the classical semiempirical relationships between electrophoretic mobility and charge-to-mass ratio (m(e) versus q/M(alpha)). The separations simulated considering the accurate charge-to-mass ratios of each peptide at a certain pH value were in good agreement with the experimental results. Once an optimum separation pH value and a running buffer compatible with electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI) detection were selected, a method for the separation and characterization of this series of analytes by capillary electrophoresis-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (CE-ESI-MS) was established using a commercial sheath-flow interface. Method validation was performed in order to prove the suitability of the proposed method for quantitative analysis. Thus, quality parameters, such as repeatability, reproducibility, limits of detection and linearity were determined.