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Anal Chem. 2009 Mar 15;81(6):2268-73. doi: 10.1021/ac802412t.

Added mass effect on immobilizations of proteins on a 27 MHz quartz crystal microbalance in aqueous solution.

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Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology and SENTAN, JST, 4259 Nagatsuda, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8501, Japan.


During the immobilization process of proteins onto an Au-surface of a 27 MHz quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) in aqueous solutions, apparent large frequency changes (DeltaF(water)) were observed compared with those in the air phase (DeltaF(air)) due to the interaction with surrounding water of proteins. On the basis of an energy-transfer model for the QCM, the apparent added mass in the aqueous solution [(-DeltaF(water))/(-DeltaF(air)) - 1] could be explained by frictional forces at the interface of proteins with aqueous solutions. When [(-DeltaF(water))/(-DeltaF(air)) - 1] values for various proteins were plotted against values relating to the friction (antimobility), such as values of the molecular weight divided by the sedimentation coefficient (Mw/s), the inverse of the diffusion coefficient (1/D), and the volume divided by the surface area (volume/surface area = apparent radius) of proteins, there were good linear correlations. Thus, observations of the larger DeltaF(water) than DeltaF(air) for protein immobilizations on the QCM can be simply explained by the friction effect at the interface between proteins and the aqueous solution. Thus, QCM would be a mass sensor based on mechanical oscillation motion even in aqueous solutions.

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