Heide R. Rabanes, a PhD student of the Department of Chemistry, Ateneo de Manila University published another research work entitled Synergistic effect of field enhanced sample injection on micelle to solvent stacking in capillary electrophoresis in the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Chromatography A (JCA). The work was co-authored with Agnes T. Aranas, also an Ateneo PhD student who graduated last March 2012. The JCA is known for its stringent requirements and evaluation of original research and critical reviews on all aspects of fundamental and applied separation science. The techniques in her research work falls under electromigration techniques which includes electrophoresis. Electrophoresis is the process where a certain voltage is applied and this causes the movement of ions across a conductive medium where they migrate towards the electrode with an opposite charge.
Rabanes presented a two-step preconcentration or stacking strategy which addressed the sensitivity issue of capillary electrophoretic techniques employing ultraviolet detection. The research work was motivated by the fact that while capillary electrophoresis is a powerful analytical separation technique for small and large molecules, its sensitivity suffers when applied to real samples containing very minute concentrations. This work provided a new approach to overcome this shortcoming and reported a thousand-fold enhancement in sensitivity enhancement. The technique was successfully evaluated with antipsychotic drugs and applied to spiked urine sample after a simple extraction procedure.
Rabanes is a faculty member of Xavier University–Ateneo de Cagayan. She is currently on study leave to pursue her PhD studies. She is a recipient of a scholarship grant from the Commission on Higher Education and is presently being funded for a one-year Sandwich Program for a thesis research project in an overseas laboratory at the University of Tasmania (UTAS), Australia. She is under the supervision of Dr. Joselito P. Quirino, an Associate Professor of the School of Chemistry’s Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science and under Dr. Armando M. Guidote Jr. in the Ateneo de Manila University.