Capillary electrophoresis and its application in the clinical laboratory

John R. Petersen, Anthony O. Okorodudu, Amin Mohammad, Deborah A. Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Over the past 10 years, capillary electrophoresis (CE) is an analytical tool that has shown great promise in replacing many conventional clinical laboratory methods, especially electrophoresis and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The main attraction of CE was that it was fast, used small amounts of sample and reagents, and was extremely versatile, being able to separate large and small analytes, both neutral and charged. Because of this versatility, numerous methods for clinically relevant analytes have been developed. However, with the exception of the molecular diagnostic and forensic laboratories CE has not had a major impact. A possible reason is that CE is still perceived as requiring above-average technical expertise, precluding its use in a laboratory workforce that is less technically adept. With the introduction of multicapillary instruments that are more automated, less technique-dependent, in addition to the availability of commercial and cost effective test kit methods, CE may yet be accepted as a instrument routinely used in the clinical laboratories. Thus, this review will focus on the areas where CE shows the most potential to have the greatest impact on the clinical laboratory. These include analysis of proteins found in serum, urine, CSF and body fluids, immunosubstraction electrophoresis, hemoglobin variants, lipoproteins, carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), forensic and therapeutic drug screening, and molecular diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Capillary electrophoresis
  • Clinical applications
  • Clinical laboratory
  • Molecular diagnostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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