A thermo-responsive separation matrix, consisting of Pluronic F127 tri-block copolymers of poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(propylene oxide), was used to separate DNA fragments by microchip electrophoresis. At low temperature, the polymer matrix was low in viscosity and allowed rapid loading into a microchannel under low pressure. With increasing temperatures above 25°C, the Pluronic F127 solution forms a liquid crystalline phase consisting of spherical micelles with diameters of 17-19 nm. The solution can be used to separate DNA fragments from 100 bp to 1500 bp on poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) chips. This temperature-sensitive and viscosity-tunable polymer provided excellent resolution over a wide range of DNA sizes. Separation is based on a different mechanism compared with conventional matrices such as methylcellulose. To illustrate the separation mechanism of DNA in a Pluronic F127 solution, DNA molecular imaging was performed by fluorescence microscopy with F127 polymer as the separation matrix in microchip electrophoresis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry