Here we report that nanopillar array structures have an intrinsic ability to suppress electroosmotic flow (EOF). Currently using glass chips for electrophoresis requires laborious surface coating to control EOF, which works as a counterflow to the electrophoresis mobility of negatively charged samples such as DNA and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) denatured proteins. Due to the intrinsic ability of the nanopillar array to suppress the EOF, we carried out electrophoresis of SDS-protein complexes in nanopillar chips without adding any reagent to suppress protein adsorption and the EOF. We also show that the EOF profile inside a nanopillar region was deformed to an inverse parabolic flow. We used a combination of EOF measurements and fluorescence observations to compare EOF in microchannel, nanochannel, and nanopillar array chips. Our results of EOF measurements in micro- and nanochannel chips were in complete agreement with the conventional equation of the EOF mobility (μEOF-channel = αCi-0.5, where Ci is the bulk concentration of the i-ions and α differs in micro- and nanochannels), whereas EOF in the nanopillar chips did not follow this equation. Therefore we developed a new modified form of the conventional EOF equation, μEOF-nanopillar ≈ β[Ci - (Ci 2/Ni)], where Ni is the number of sites available to i-ions and β differs for each nanopillar chip because of different spacings or patterns, etc. The modified equation of the EOF mobility that we proposed here was in good agreement with our experimental results. In this equation, we showed that the charge density of the nanopillar region, that is, the total number of nanopillars inside the microchannel, affected the suppression of EOF, and the arrangement of nanopillars into a tilted or square array had no effect on it.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- General Engineering
- General Physics and Astronomy