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Biomicrofluidics. 2011 Dec;5(4):44114-441149. doi: 10.1063/1.3668233. Epub 2011 Dec 12.

Characterization of low viscosity polymer solutions for microchip electrophoresis of non-denatured proteins on plastic chips.

Abstract

In this paper, we study characteristics of polymers (methylcellulose, hypromellose ((hydroxypropyl)methyl cellulose), poly(vinylpyrrolidone), and poly(vinyl alcohol)) with different chemical structures for microchip electrophoresis of non-denatured protein samples in a plastic microchip made of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA). Coating efficiency of these polymers for controlling protein adsorption onto the channel surface of the plastic microchip, wettability of the PMMA surface, and electroosmotic flow in the PMMA microchannels in the presence of these polymers were compared. Also relative electrophoretic mobility of protein samples in solutions of these polymers was studied. We showed that when using low polymer concentrations (lower than the polymer entanglement point) where the sieving effect is substantially negligible, the interaction of the samples with the polymer affected the electrophoretic mobility of the samples. This effect can be used for achieving better resolution in microchip electrophoresis of protein samples.

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