We present an application of a novel DNA separation matrix, cholesterol-bearing pullulan (CHP) nanogels, for microchip electrophoresis. The solution of the CHP showed a unique phase transition around 30 mg/ml and formed gel phase over this critical concentration. This gel phase consists of the weak hydrophobic interactions between the cholesterols could be easily deformed by external forces, and thus, loading process of the CHP nanogels into microchannels became easier. The high concentration of the CHP nanogels provided excellent resolutions especially for small DNA fragments from 100 to 1500 bp. The separation mechanism was discussed based on Ogston and Reptation models which had developed in gels or polymer solutions. The result of a single molecule imaging gave us an insight of the separation mechanism and the nanogel structures as well.
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