Improved Conversion Rates in Drug Screening Applications Using Miniaturized Electrochemical Cells with Frit Channels
This paper reports a novel design of a miniaturized three-electrode electrochemical cell, the purpose of which is aimed at generating drug metabolites with a high conversion efficiency. The working electrode and the counter electrode are placed in two separate channels to isolate the reaction products generated at both electrodes. The novel design includes connecting channels between these two electrode channels to provide a uniform distribution of the current density over the entire working electrode. In addition, the effect of ohmic drop is decreased. Moreover, two flow resistors are included to ensure an equal flow of analyte through both electrode channels. Total conversion of fast reacting ions is achieved at flow rates up to at least 8 μL/min, while the internal chip volume is only 175 nL. Using this electrochemical chip, the metabolism of mitoxantrone is studied by microchip electrospray ionization–mass spectrometry. At an oxidation potential of 700 mV, all known metabolites from direct oxidation are observed. The electrochemical chip performs equally well, compared to a commercially available cell, but at a 30-fold lower flow of reagents.