Preparation and evaluation of a sulfoalkylbetaine-based zwitterionic monolithic column for CEC of polar analytes.
ABSTRACT A novel polymethacrylate-based monolithic column with covalently bonded zwitterionic functional groups was prepared by in situ copolymerization of N,N-dimethyl-N-methacryloxyethyl N-(3-sulfopropyl) ammonium betaine (SPE), pentaerythritol triacrylate (PETA), and vinylsulfonic acid (VS) in a binary porogenic solvent consisting of cyclohexanol and ethylene glycol. This monolith was developed as a separation column for CEC. While SPE functioned as both an electrostatic interaction stationary phase and the polar ligand provider, VS was employed to generate EOF. PETA, which has much more hydrophilicity due to a hydroxyl sub-layer, was used to replace ethylene dimethacrylate as a cross-linker. The monolith provided an adequate EOF when VS level was maintained at 0.6% w/w. Different monolithic stationary phases were easily prepared by adjusting the ratio of PETA/SPE in the polymerization solution as well as the composition of the porogenic solvent. The observed RSD were <or=3.6, <or=4.3 and <or=5.6% for the EOF velocity, retention time, and column efficiency, respectively. The column efficiencies greater than 145 000 theoretical plates/m for thiourea and 132 000 theoretical plates/m for charged cytidine were obtained. The poly(SPE-co-PETA-co-VS) monolith showed good selectivity for neutral and charged polar analytes. It was found that the separation mechanism of charged polar solutes was attributed to a mixed mode of hydrophilic interaction and electrostatic interaction, as well as electrophoresis. No peak tailing was observed for the separation of basic compounds, such as basic nucleic acid bases and nucleoside on the monolith.