Capillary electrophoresis of polycationic poly(amidoamine) dendrimers

Xiangyang Shi, István Bányai, Wojciech G. Lesniak, Mohammad T. Islam, István Országh, Peter Balogh, James R. Baker, Lajos P. Balogh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Generation 2 to generation 5 poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers having different terminal functionalities were analyzed by capillary electrophoresis (CE). Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was also used to assess the composition of the individual generations for comparison with the CE results. Separation of PAMAMs can be accomplished by either using uncoated silica or silanized silica capillaries, although reproducibility is poor using the uncoated silica capillary. To improve run-to-run reproducibility, silanized capillary was used and various internal standards were also tested. Relative and normalized migration times of primary amine terminated PAMAM dendrimers were then determined using 2,3-diaminopyridine (2,3-DAP) as an internal standard. Using silanized capillaries and internal standards, the relative and normalized migration times are fully reproducible and comparable between runs. Apparent dimensionless electrophoretic mobilities were determined and the results were compared to theoretical calculations. It is concluded that for PAMAMs a complex separation mechanism has to be considered in CE, where the movement of the ions is due to the electric field, but the separation is rather the consequence of the adsorption/desorption equilibria on the capillary wall ("electrokinetic capillary chromatography"). The described method may be used for quality control and may serve as an effective technique to analyze polycationic PAMAM dendrimers and their derivatives with different surface modifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2949-2959
Number of pages11
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Capillary electrophoresis
  • Internal standards
  • Poly(amidoamine) dendrimers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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