Probing Single Secretory Vesicles with Capillary Electrophoresis

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Science  20 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5354, pp. 1190-1193
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5354.1190

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Secretory vesicles obtained from the atrial gland of the gastropod mollusk Aplysia californica were chemically analyzed individually with a combination of optical trapping, capillary electrophoresis separation, and a laser-induced fluorescence detection. With the use of optical trapping, a single vesicle that had attoliters (10−18 liters) of volume was introduced into the tapered inlet of a separation capillary. Once the vesicle was injected, it was lysed, and its components were fluorescently labeled with naphthalene-2,3-dicarboxaldehyde before separation. The resultant electropherograms indicated distinct variations in the contents of single vesicles.

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