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Electrophoresis. 1997 Jan;18(1):55-8.

Pore size of agarose gels by atomic force microscopy.

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Institut Charles Sadron, CNRS-Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.


The pore size of agarose gel in water at different concentrations was directly measured using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The experiment was specially designed to work under aqueous conditions and allows direct observation of the "unperturbed" gel without invasive treatment. The pore size a as a function of gel concentration C shows a power law dependence a approximately C-gamma, where gamma lies between the prediction of the Ogston model for a random array of straight chains, 0.5, and the value predicted by De Gennes for a network of flexible chains, 0.75. We confirm that gels present a wide pore size distribution and show that it narrows as the concentration increases.

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