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J Chromatogr A. 2012 Mar 16;1229:38-47. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2012.01.029. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Salt effects on solvent features of coexisting phases in aqueous polymer/polymer two-phase systems.

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Laboratory of Separation and Reaction Engineering, Dpt. de Engenharia Química, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal.


The solvatochromic parameters characterizing the solvent dipolarity/polarizability (π*), solvent hydrogen-bond donor acidity (α), and solvent hydrogen-bond acceptor basicity (β) of aqueous media were measured in the coexisting phases of aqueous Dextran-Ficoll, Dextran-Ucon, Dextran-PEG, PEG-Ucon, Ficoll-Ucon, and Ficoll-PEG two-phase systems (ATPS). Ionic composition of each ATPS included 0.15M KCl, 0.15M KBr, 0.15M NaBr, 0.1M Na(2)SO(4), and 0.1M Li(2)SO(4) in 0.01 M sodium phosphate buffer (NaPB), pH 7.4; and 0.01 M and 0.11 M sodium phosphate buffer, pH 7.4. Partition ratios of sodium salts of dinitrophenylated (DNP) amino acids with aliphatic side-chains (glycine, alanine, norvaline, norleucine, and α-amino-n-caprylic acid) were measured in all ATPSs, and the results were evaluated in terms of the differences between the relative hydrophobicity (parameter E) and the electrostatic properties (parameter C) of the aqueous media of the coexisting phases. It was established that parameter E is described by a linear combination of the differences between the solvent dipolarity/polarizability (Δπ*) and between the solvent hydrogen-bond acidity (Δα) of the media in the coexisting phases. Parameter C depends on the phase forming polymer pair and is shown to be described by a linear combination of three parameters: the differences between the solvent hydrogen-bond acidity (Δα) and between the solvent hydrogen-bond basicity (Δβ) of the media in the coexisting phases, and a measure of the effect of a given salt additive on the hydrogen bonds in water. This effect was represented by a parameter (K(b-l)), characterizing the equilibrium between populations of hydrogen bonds with a bent hydrogen bond conformation and with linear hydrogen bond conformation affected by a given salt additive.

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