• Capillary electrophoresis;
  • M7C4I;
  • Peptides;
  • Proteins;
  • Protein digests;
  • Time-of-flight


A monoquaternarized piperazine, 1-(4-iodobutyl) 4-aza-1-azoniabicyclo[2,2,2] octane iodide (M7C4I), has been evaluated as a surface derivatization reagent for CE in combination with TOF MS for the analysis of proteins, peptides, and protein digests. The M7C4I piperazine, at alkaline pH, forms a covalent bond via alkylation of the ionized silanols producing a cationic surface with a highly stable and reversed EOF. The obtained surface yields rapid separations (less than 5 min) of peptides and proteins at acidic pH with high separation efficiencies (up to 1.1×106 plates/m for peptides and up to 1.8×106 plates/m for proteins) and no observed bleeding of the coating reagent into the mass spectrometer. The simplicity of the coating procedure also enables fast (2 min) regeneration of the surface, if necessary. This is useful in the analysis of complex samples in order to prevent possible memory effects. The potential of using M7C4I-coated capillaries for MS analysis of complex samples is demonstrated by the separation of peptides, proteins, and protein digests. Even more, the spectacular thing in which large intact proteins with molecular masses over 0.5 MDa could be separated. The coating showed good ability to handle these large proteins with high efficiency and retained peak shape as demonstrated by separation of IgG1 (150 kDa) and thyroglobulin (669 kDa).