News

Non-ionic, thermo-responsive DEA/DMA nanogels: Synthesis, characterization, and use for DNA separations by microchip electrophoresis

Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2011 February 1th.

Xihua Lua, Mingyun Suna, b and Annelise E. Barrona, b

a Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, United States

b Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Clark Center Room S170, Stanford, CA 94305-5444, United States

Abstract
Thermo-responsive polymer “nanogels” (crosslinked hydrogel particles with sub-100 nm diameters) are intriguing for many potential applications in biotechnology and medicine. There have been relatively few reports of electrostatically neutral, thermosensitive nanogels comprising a high fraction of hydrophilic co-monomer. Here we demonstrate the syntheses and characterization of novel, non-ionic nanogels based on random N,N-diethylacrylamide (DEA)/N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA) copolymers, made by free-radical, surfactant-free dispersion polymerization. The volume-phase transition temperatures of these DEA/DMA nanogels are strongly affected by co-monomer composition, providing a way to “tune” the phase transition temperature of these non-ionic nanogels. While DEA nanogels (comprising no DMA) can be obtained at 70 °C by standard emulsion precipitation, DEA/DMA random co-polymer nanogels can be obtained only in a particular range of temperatures, above the initial phase transition temperature and below the critical precipitation temperature of the DEA/DMA copolymer, controlled by co-monomer composition. Increasing percentages of DMA in the nanogels raises the phase transition temperature, and attenuates and broadens it as well. We find that concentrated DEA/DMA nanogel dispersions are optically clear at room temperature. This good optical clarity was exploited for their use in a novel DNA sieving matrix for microfluidic chip electrophoresis. An ultrafast, high-efficiency dsDNA separation was achieved in less than 120 s for dsDNA ranging from 75 bp to 15,000 bp.

© Micronit 2014 | all rights reserved | disclaimer