Sample component separation apparatus and methods are described. An exemplary sample component separation apparatus includes a separation channel having a turn portion configured to reduce band-broadening caused by passage of a sample through the turn portion. To reduce band broadening caused by passage of a sample through a turn portion, the turn portion may be constructed and arranged to have a sample transport characteristic that is different from the corresponding sample transport characteristic of a substantially straight portion of the separation channel. For example, the turn portion may be configured with an effective channel width that is smaller than the effective channel widths of the substantially straight portion of the separation channel. The actual channel width of the turn portion may be smaller than the channel widths of the substantially straight portion; the effective channel width of the turn portion may be reduced by placing one or more sample transport barriers or constrictions in the turn portion of the channel. Alternatively, the sample velocity through the turn portion may be controlled so as to reduce band broadening. For example, sample transport barriers may be disposed in the turn portion so that sample components of a given band travel through the turn portion at substantially the same effective rate, whereby the band orientation remains substantially aligned along radial directions characteristic of the turn portion. Other a sample transport characteristics, such as electrical resistance or fluid flow resistance, of the turn portion may be adapted to reduce band broadening caused by passage of the sample through the turn portion.
STATEMENT AS TO FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. FG0391ER61125, which was awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy, and Grant No. HG01399, which was awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The Government has certain rights in the invention.