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. The multiplexing of analysis has been a very fashionable trend for the last ten years. 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 fast-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 haemoglobin. Such post-translational modifications are involved in many physiological and pathological processes: capillary electrophoresis is the best analytical approach for these modifications.