Modeling of protein electrophoresis in silica colloidal crystals having brush layers of polyacrylamide.
ABSTRACT: Sieving of proteins in silica colloidal crystals of millimeter dimensions is characterized for particle diameters of nominally 350 and 500 nm, where the colloidal crystals are chemically modified with a brush layer of polyacrylamide. A model is developed that relates the reduced electrophoretic mobility to the experimentally measurable porosity. The model fits the data with no adjustable parameters for the case of silica colloidal crystals packed in capillaries, for which independent measurements of the pore radii were made from flow data. The model also fits the data for electrophoresis in a highly ordered colloidal crystal formed in a channel, where the unknown pore radius was used as a fitting parameter. Plate heights as small as 0.4 ?m point to the potential for miniaturized separations. Band broadening increases as the pore radius approaches the protein radius, indicating that the main contribution to broadening is the spatial heterogeneity of the pore radius. The results quantitatively support the notion that sieving occurs for proteins in silica colloidal crystals, and facilitate design of new separations that would benefit from miniaturization.
Project description:Extremely uniform packing of colloidal silica in capillaries is shown. Reversed-phase electrochromatograms of DiI-C(12) exhibit plate heights as low as 0.23 microm and a reduced plate height as low as 0.7, using 75 microm i.d. capillaries packed with 330 nm silica particles. The contribution from the A term is 0 +/- 20 nm in electrochromatography. The particles are shown to form colloidal crystals inside the capillaries. Optical images show Bragg diffraction, indicative of crystallinity. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images show face-centered cubic crystallinity, and the porosity is 0.25 +/- 0.01, which is in agreement with that for face-centered cubic crystals. The capillaries are fritless, and 100 microm i.d. capillaries packed with silica colloidal crystals withstand pressures of at least 12,400 psi.
Project description:Here, we demonstrate the potential for high-resolution electrophoretic separations of ssDNA-protein conjugates in borosilicate glass microfluidic chips, with no sieving media and excellent repeatability. Using polynucleotides of two different lengths conjugated to moderately cationic protein polymer drag-tags, we measured separation efficiency as a function of applied electric field. In excellent agreement with prior theoretical predictions of Slater et al., resolution is found to remain constant as applied field is increased up to 700 V/cm, the highest field we were able to apply. This remarkable result illustrates the fundamentally different physical limitations of free-solution conjugate electrophoresis (FSCE)-based DNA separations relative to matrix-based DNA electrophoresis. ssDNA separations in "gels" have always shown rapidly declining resolution as the field strength is increased; this is especially true for ssDNA > 400 bases in length. FSCE's ability to decouple DNA peak resolution from applied electric field suggests the future possibility of ultra-rapid FSCE sequencing on chips. We investigated sources of peak broadening for FSCE separations on borosilicate glass microchips, using six different protein polymer drag-tags. For drag-tags with four or more positive charges, electrostatic and adsorptive interactions with poly(N-hydroxyethylacrylamide)-coated microchannel walls led to appreciable band-broadening, while much sharper peaks were seen for bioconjugates with nearly charge-neutral protein drag-tags.
Project description:Diffusion based separations are essential for laboratory and clinical dialysis processes. New molecularly thin nanoporous membranes may improve the rate and quality of separations achievable by these processes. In this work we have performed protein and small molecule separations with 15 nm thick porous nanocrystalline silicon (pnc-Si) membranes and compared the results to 1- and 3- dimensional models of diffusion through ultrathin membranes. The models predict the amount of resistance contributed by the membrane by using pore characteristics obtained by direct inspection of pnc-Si membranes in transmission electron micrographs. The theoretical results indicate that molecularly thin membranes are expected to enable higher resolution separations at times before equilibrium compared to thicker membranes with the same pore diameters and porosities. We also explored the impact of experimental parameters such as porosity, pore distribution, diffusion time, and chamber size on the sieving characteristics. Experimental results are found to be in good agreement with the theory, and ultrathin membranes are shown to impart little overall resistance to the diffusion of molecules smaller than the physical pore size cutoff. The largest molecules tested experience more hindrance than expected from simulations indicating that factors not incorporated in the models, such as molecule shape, electrostatic repulsion, and adsorption to pore walls, are likely important.
Project description:Slip flow of water through silica colloidal crystals was investigated experimentally for eight different particle diameters, which have hydraulic channel radii ranging from 15 to 800 nm. The particle surfaces were silylated to be low in energy, with a water contact angle of 83°, as determined for a silylated flat surface. Flow rates through centimeter lengths of colloidal crystal were measured using a commercial liquid chromatograph for accurate comparisons of water and toluene flow rates using pressure gradients as high as 10(10) Pa/m. Toluene exhibited no-slip Hagen-Poiseuille flow for all hydraulic channel radii. For water, the slip flow enhancement as a function of hydraulic channel radius was described well by the expected slip flow correction for Hagen-Poiseuille flow, and the data revealed a constant slip length of 63 ± 3 nm. A flow enhancement of 20 ± 2 was observed for the smallest hydraulic channel radius of 15 nm. The amount of slip flow was found to be independent of shear rate over a range of fluid velocities from 0.7 to 5.8 mm/s. The results support the applicability of the slip flow correction for channel radii as small as 15 nm. The work demonstrates that packed beds of submicrometer particles enable slip flow to be employed for high-volume flow rates.
Project description:Ion pair reverse-phase liquid chromatography has been widely employed for nucleic acid separations. A wide range of alternative stationary phases have been utilised in conjunction with ion pair reverse-phase chromatography, including totally porous particles, non-porous particles, macroporous particles and monolithic stationary phases. In this study we have utilised superficially porous silica particles in conjunction with ion pair reverse-phase liquid chromatography for the analysis of nucleic acids. We have investigated a range of different pore-sizes and phases for the analysis of a diverse range of nucleic acids including oligonucleotides, oligoribonucleotides, phosphorothioate oligonucleotides and high molecular weight dsDNA and RNA. The pore size of the superficially porous silica particles was shown to significantly affect the resolution of the nucleic acids. Optimum separations of small oligonucleotides such as those generated in RNase mapping experiments were obtained with 80Å pore sizes and can readily be interfaced with mass spectrometry analysis. Improved resolution of larger oligonucleotides (>19mers) was observed with pore sizes of 150Å. The optimum resolution for larger dsDNA/RNA molecules was achieved using superficially porous silica particles with pore sizes of 400Å. Furthermore, we have utilised 150Å pore size solid-core particles to separate typical impurities of a fully phosphorothioated oligonucleotide, which are often generated in the synthesis of this important class of therapeutic oligonucleotide.
Project description:Metal-organic frameworks are widely considered for the separation of chemical mixtures due to their adjustable physical and chemical properties. However, while much effort is currently devoted to developing new adsorbents for a given separation, an ideal scenario would involve a single adsorbent for multiple separations. Porous materials exhibiting framework flexibility offer unique opportunities to tune these properties since the pore size and shape can be controlled by the application of external stimuli. Here, we establish a proof-of-concept for the molecular sieving separation of species with similar sizes (CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4), via precise mechanical control of the pore size aperture in a flexible metal-organic framework. Besides its infinite selectivity for the considered gas mixtures, this material shows excellent regeneration capability when releasing the external mechanical constraint. This strategy, combining an external stimulus applied to a structurally compliant adsorbent, offers a promising avenue for addressing some of the most challenging gas separations.
Project description:Understanding the hydrodynamic properties of polymeric coatings is crucial for the rational design of molecular transport involving polymeric surfaces and is relevant to drug delivery, sieving, molecular separations, etc. It has been found that the hydrodynamic radius of a polymer segment is an order of magnitude smaller than its physical size, but the origin of this effect does not seem to be well understood. Herein, we study the hydrodynamic properties of polymeric coatings by using molecular dynamics simulations, navigated by the continuous Navier-Stokes-Brinkman model. We confirm that the averaged hydrodynamic radius of a polymer bead is about one order of magnitude smaller than its physical radius, and, in addition, we show that it exhibits a strong dependence on the degree of polymerization. We relate this variation of the hydrodynamic radius to the structural properties and hydrodynamic shielding by surrounding polymer beads. This is done by separating the effects originating from near and far beads. For the near beads, shielding is mainly due to the two nearest beads (of the same polymer) and leads to about a 5-fold reduction in the hydrodynamic radius. Assuming the additivity of the hydrodynamic shielding by far beads, we suggest a simple model, which captures correctly the qualitative behaviour of the hydrodynamic radius with the degree of polymerization. The revealed shielding effects provide important insights relevant to the advanced modelling of hydrodynamic properties of polymeric coatings.
Project description:Binary colloidal crystals offer great potential for tuning material properties for applications in, for example, photonics, semiconductors and spintronics, because they allow the positioning of particles with quite different characteristics on one lattice. For micrometer-sized colloids, it is believed that gravity and slow crystallization rates hinder the formation of high-quality binary crystals. Here, we present methods for growing binary colloidal crystals with a NaCl structure from relatively heavy, hard-sphere-like, micrometer-sized silica particles by exploring the following external fields: electric, gravitational, and dielectrophoretic fields and a structured surface (colloidal epitaxy). Our simulations show that the free-energy difference between the NaCl and NiAs structures, which differ in their stacking of the hexagonal planes of the larger spheres, is very small (approximately 0.002 k(B)T). However, we demonstrate that the fcc stacking of the large spheres, which is crucial for obtaining the pure NaCl structure, can be favored by using a combination of the above-mentioned external fields. In this way, we have successfully fabricated large, 3D, oriented single crystals having a NaCl structure without stacking disorder.
Project description:Novel MCO high-flux membranes for hemodialysis have been developed with optimized permeability, allowing for filtration close to that of the natural kidney. A comprehensive in vitro characterization of the membrane properties by dextran filtration is presented. The sieving profile of pristine membranes, as well as that of membranes exposed to blood for 40 minutes, are described. The effective pore size (Stokes-Einstein radius) was estimated from filtration experiments before and after blood exposure, and results were compared to hydrodynamic radii of middle and large uremic toxins and essential proteins. The results indicate that the tailored pore sizes of the MCO membranes promote removal of large toxins while ensuring the retention of albumin.
Project description:A major challenge in the synthesis of porous metal oxides is the control of pore size and/or wall thickness that may affect the performance of these materials. Herein, nanoporous β-MnO₂ samples were prepared using different hard templates, e.g., ordered mesoporous silica SBA-15 and KIT-6, disordered mesoporous silica, and colloidal silica. These samples were characterized by Powder X-Ray Diffraction (PXRD), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and N₂ adsorption-desorption. The pore size distribution of β-MnO₂ was tuned by the different hard templates and their preparation details. Catalytic activities in CO oxidation and N₂O decomposition were tested and the mesoporous β-MnO₂ samples demonstrated superior catalytic activities compared with their bulk counterpart.