In just a few minutes, capillary electrophoresis can sort a complex molecular mixture from a biological sample. As the molecules migrate through the capillary tube at different speeds, they take their turn, as in a queue, and present themselves one by one in front of the detector. Multiplexing analysis has become increasingly popular and electrophoresis allows the parallel analysis of a family of molecules. The analysis remains flexible and relevant whatever the number and variety of species detected.


The power of this unique separation makes it possible to reveal changes that are invisible to the most widely used or fastest-growing technologies, such as nucleic sequencing or antibody-based assays. These include modifications of proteins by phosphorylation, carbamylation or glycation, the prototype of which is glycated hemoglobin. Such post-translational modifications are involved in many physiological and pathological processes: capillary electrophoresis is the best analytical approach for these modifications.

The science of understanding and measuring diseases, which is at the core of medical diagnostics, is rapidly evolving. The most noteworthy elements are:

  • Systems biology, which has taken over from a view of life that is very much centered on the genome. This new understanding of life emphasizes the interconnections between the chemical pathways of life. Disease is then defined as the disturbance of the general equilibrium and not, as in the past, as the disturbance of a specific pathway. The measurable modifications that accompany the pathology are multiple. It is therefore essential to keep an overview of the biochemistry and to visualise the relative variations of the molecules between them. It is indeed in this type of application that electrophoresis is best suited. This is what is practiced in diabetes with glycated hemoglobin, or in myeloma when the monoclonal charge is measured in relation to other immunoglobulins.


  • The growing importance of metabolism, including that of the intestinal microbiota, forces us to turn our eyes from the informational macromolecules (proteins, DNA, RNA) towards smaller molecules: ions, amino acids or other essential molecules such as lipids and complex carbohydrates. Here again, electrophoresis is an approach of choice.


In addition to pathophysiology, medical diagnostics requires the perfect alignment of several types of knowledge. This knowledge is at the heart of our research and development activity.


  • Chemistry and analytical biochemistry: how to measure in a simple, reliable and extremely reproducible way the biochemical changes that accompany the pathology.
  • Adaptation of the method to the constraints of laboratories in terms of ergonomics, automation, integration into the analysis flow and an increasingly complex software environment.
  • Industrialization of mass-produced machines at the best price, in compliance with increasingly demanding regulatory standards.

For 50 years, our R&D teams have developed unique experience in mastering the analytical power of electrophoresis and the sophistication of multi-capillary and multi-analysis instruments.

Sebia’s R&D priorities are:

  • The improvement of our range of diagnostic instruments in terms of ergonomics, automation, reliability and integration into the laboratory environment.
  • The extension of our analysis menu to new pathologies by relying on research partnerships with our clients and clinicians who define new diagnostic needs.