Picomole amounts of oligodeoxynucleotides [polydeoxyadenylic acids, (dA)40-60] were baseline resolved and analyzed in < 8 min by high-performance capillary electrophoresis with polyacrylamide gels. In addition, fast analysis of a crude 70-mer oligodeoxynucleotide and a slab gel-purified 99-mer oligodeoxynucleotide was accomplished, demonstrating the ability of high-performance capillary electrophoresis to characterize rapidly synthesized oligonucleotides. Besides analytical separations, 800 ng of a primer (20-mer) was isolated in < 20 min. The purified species was collected in water and subsequently used as a probe in a standard dot-blot analysis. The use of high-performance capillary electrophoresis for the analysis and purification of a variety of biopolymers is simple, rapid, and has the potential for automation.