Self-associating block copolymer networks for microchip electrophoresis provide enhanced DNA separation via "inchworm" chain dynamics

Thomas N. Chiesl, Karl W. Putz, Meena Babu, Patrick Mathias, Kashan A. Shaikh, Edgar D. Goluch, Chang Liu, Annelise E. Barron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe a novel class of DNA separation media for microchip electrophoresis, "physically cross-linked" block copolymer networks, which provide rapid (<4.5 min) and remarkably enhanced resolution of DNA in a size range critical for genotyping. Dnear poly(acrylamide-co-dihexylacrylamide) (LPA-co-DHA) comprising as little as 0.13 mol % dihexylacrylamide yields substantially improved electrophoretic DNA separations compared to matched molar mass linear polyacrylamide. Single-molecule videomicroscopic images of DNA electrophoresis reveal novel chain dynamics in LPA-co-DHA matrixes, resembling inchworm movement, to which we attribute the increased DNA resolution. Substantial improvements in DNA peak separation are obtained, in particular, in LPA-co-DHA solutions at polymer/copolymer concentrations near the interchain entanglement threshold. Higher polymer concentrations yield enhanced separations only for small DNA molecules (< 120 base pairs). Hydrophobically cross-linked networks offer advantages over conventional linear polymers based on enhanced separation performance (or speed) and over chemically cross-linked gels because hydrophobic cross-links can be reversibly broken, allowing facile microchannel loading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4409-4415
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume78
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

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