Capillary Electrophoresis is a very efficient and resolutive separation technique used for many years in the analytical field. Despite all its assets, CE remains poorly used in drug discovery. This can be explained by the relatively low number of experienced CE practitioners, the maturity of HPLC in the pharmaceutical industry and some intrinsic limitations of the technique.
The objective of this review is to focus our attention on recent developments of this technique in three different drug discovery areas: bioassays, drug-plasma interactions and drug metabolism studies. These developments were based on two important abilities of CE: the capacity to measure non-covalent interactions in solution and the ability to use a portion of the capillary as a reactor while the rest of the capillary is used for the separation of the product of the reaction.