Chiral analysis of dl-amino acids was achieved by micellar electrokinetic chromatography coupled with UV-excited fluorescence detection. The fluorescent reagent (+)-1-(9-fluorenyl)ethyl chloroformate was employed as chiral amino acid derivatizing agent and sodium dodecyl sulfate served as pseudo-stationary phase for separating the formed amino acid diastereomers. Sensitive analysis of (+)-1-(9-fluorenyl)ethyl chloroformate-amino acids was achieved applying a xenon-mercury lamp for ultraviolet excitation, and a spectrograph and charge-coupled device for wavelength-resolved emission detection. Applying signal integration over a 30 nm emission wavelength interval, signal-to-noise ratios for derivatized amino acids were up to 23 times higher as obtained using a standard photomultiplier for detection. The background electrolyte composition (electrolyte, pH, sodium dodecyl sulfate concentration, and organic solvent) was studied in order to attain optimal chemo- and enantioseparation. Enantioseparation of 12 proteinogenic dl-amino acids was achieved with chiral resolutions between 1.2 and 7.9, and detection limits for most derivatized amino acids in the 13–60 nM range (injected concentration). Linearity (coefficients of determination > 0.985) and peak-area and migration-time repeatabilities (relative standard deviations lower than 2.6 and 1.9%, respectively) were satisfactory. The employed fluorescence detection system provided up to 100-times better signal-to-noise ratios for (+)-1-(9-fluorenyl)ethyl chloroformate-amino acids than ultraviolet absorbance detection, showing good potential for d-amino acid analysis.
- amino acids
- chiral separation
- fluorescence detection
- micellar electrokinetic chromatography