3 years ago

Continuous-Flow Electrophoresis of DNA and Proteins in a Two-Dimensional Capillary-Well Sieve

Continuous-Flow Electrophoresis of DNA and Proteins in a Two-Dimensional Capillary-Well Sieve
Levent Yobas, Lian Duan, Zhen Cao
Continuous-flow electrophoresis of macromolecules is demonstrated using an integrated capillary-well sieve arranged into a two-dimensional anisotropic array on silicon. The periodic array features thousands of entropic barriers, each resulting from an abrupt interface between a 2 μm deep well (channel) and a 70 nm capillary. These entropic barriers owing to two-dimensional confinement within the capillaries are vastly steep in relation to those arising from slits featuring one-dimensional confinement. Thus, the sieving mechanisms can sustain relatively large electric field strengths over a relatively small array area. The sieve rapidly sorts anionic macromolecules, including DNA chains and proteins in native or denatured states, into distinct trajectories according to size or charge under electric field vectors orthogonally applied. The baseline separation is achieved in less than 1 min within a horizontal migration length of ∼1.5 mm. The capillaries are self-enclosed conduits in cylindrical profile featuring a uniform diameter and realized through an approach that avoids advanced patterning techniques. The approach exploits a thermal reflow of a layer of doped glass for shape transformation into cylindrical capillaries and for controllably shrinking the capillary diameter. Lastly, atomic layer deposition of alumina is introduced for the first time to fine-tune the capillary diameter as well as to neutralize the surface charge, thereby suppressing undesired electroosmotic flows.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.7b02484

DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b02484

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