Based on calculated molecular descriptors from the solutes' structure alone, the micelle-water partition coefficients of 103 solutes in micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC) were predicted using the heuristic method (HM). At the same time, in order to show the influence of different molecular descriptors on the micelle-water partition of solute and to well understand the retention mechanism in MEKC, HM was used to build several multivariable linear models using different numbers of molecular descriptors. The best 6-parameter model gave the following results: the square of correlation coefficient R-2 was 0.958 and the mean relative error was 3.98%, which proved that the predictive values were in good agreement with the experimental results. From the built model, it can be concluded that the hydrophobic, H-bond, polar interactions of solutes with the micellar and aqueous phases are the main factors that determine their partitioning behavior. In addition, this paper provided a simple, fast and effective method for predicting the retention of the solutes in MEKC from their structures and gave some insight into structural features related to the retention of the solutes. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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