Doctoral Dissertations


"Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is a powerful technique that separates molecules based on their respective charge and hydrodynamic size. The major advantages of CE are high separation efficiency, small sample volume requirements, simple to no sample preparation and often organic solvents are not required for the separation.

The work presented in this dissertation utilized capillary electrophoresis for the analysis two different classes of compounds in different matrices. The first project investigated pteridines in urine and plants. The second project investigated pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCP's) in Missouri waste water.

As cancer continues to be one of the top three causes of human fatalities, early cancer screening research continues to gain momentum. One specific category of compounds known as pteridines is a class of compounds with potential linkage to cancer progression and deserves further investigation. Therefore, we constructed and performed a systematic investigation and optimization of a method for urinary pteridine analysis using capillary electrophoresis with laser induced fluorescence. This method is believed to possess the potential for clinical diagnosis of the presence of cancer at earlier stages than current methodologies. In addition, the method was also extended to the investigation of pteridines in plants for nutritional research. Due to the matrix differences, a systematic study was also performed.

There is a growing concern with the amount of PPCP's in the environment. One major area is the levels of PPCP's in the waste water. As a result, the detection and quantification of PPCP's in waste water offers valuable insight to the amount of contaminations being introduced. Several methods for detecting and quantifying PPCP's have been developed using LC-MS/MS. However, an alternative technique is urgently needed to conduct PPCP analysis when LC/MS is not available laboratories. Therefore, we have developed a method using CE-UV for the simultaneous analysis of eight different PPCP compounds in untreated waste water. Capillary electrophoresis (CE) offers a simple, fast, and low cost alternative analytical technique to LC/MS for PPCP determination in waste water"--Abstract, page iv.


Ma, Yinfa

Committee Member(s)

Whitefield, Philip D.
Kapila, Shubhender
Nam, Paul Ki-souk
Huang, Yue-Wern



Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemistry


Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri University of Science and Technology. Department of Chemistry


This work was supported financially by Missouri S&T start up funding and by the Chemistry Department provided to Dr. Yinfa Ma for continuing research


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Optimization of urinary pteridine analysis conditions by CE-LIF for clinical use in early cancer detection
  • Determination of pteridine levels in biofortified plant samples by capillary electrophoresis with laser induced fluorescence
  • Determination of pharmaceutical and personal care products in waste water by capillary electrophoresis with UV detection


xiii, 98 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.

Geographic Coverage



© 2010 Stephen Eric Gibbons, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Capillary electrophoresis
Pteridines -- Testing
Toilet preparations -- Toxicology -- Missouri
Cancer -- Diagnosis

Thesis Number

T 10182

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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