The dynamic range of capillary electrophoresis analysis is ultimately limited by molecular shot noise at low concentrations and by concentration-induced band broadening at high concentrations. We report a system that approaches these fundamental limits. A laser-induced fluorescence detector is reported that employs a cascade of four fiber-optic beam splitters connected in series to generate a primary signal and four attenuated signals, each monitored by a single-photon counting avalanche photodiode. Appropriate scaling of the signals from the five photodiodes produces a linear optical calibration curve for 5-carboxyl-tetramethylrhodamine from the concentration detection limit of 1 pM to the upper limit of 1 mM. Mass detection limits are 120 yoctomoles (70 molecules) injected into the instrument. The very-wide dynamic range instrument was used to study the metabolic products of the fluorescently labeled glycosphingolipid tetramethylrhodamine labeled GM1 (GM1-TMR) produced by single cells isolated from the rat cerebellum.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry