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The application of chip-based microcapillary electrophoresis (µCE) to determine the electrophoretic mobility of molecules and particles has been intensively studied in the last two decades. Balancing the hydrostatic pressure between both ends of the microchannel is essential for free-zone electrophoresis and highly accurate measurement. This balancing operation appears simple on a macroscale (e.g., > 10−3 m); however, on a microscale (e.g., 10−6–10−3 m), it is not straightforward because of the complexity of the interface dynamics at the meniscus. The hydrostatic pressure flow is unstable because of the small size of the microchannel, which is smaller than a single droplet of water. In this study, a µCE chip design was proposed by adding an extra bypass channel to balance the fluid level of the two open reservoirs and inhibit the generation of hydrostatic pressure flow within the microchannel. The fluid behaviors in the microchannel and current and voltage (I–V) characterization were experimentally studied. In addition, a numerical simulation of the electroosmotic flow and hydrostatic flow in the µCE chip was performed. The comparison between the µCE chip with and without the bypass channel showed that the bypass channel did not produce a disturbance in the microchannel for the electrophoretic measurement. The simple microchannel design enabled autonomous compensation of the hydrostatic pressure from the instability of the meniscus, and thus improved the usability of the chip-based µCE chip and the accuracy in the electrophoretic measurement.READ MORE