(17b) Effect of Nanoparticle Alignment In PAM-MMT Nanocomposite Hydrogels On Protein Electrophoretic Separations

Thompson, J. W. - Presenter, Tennessee Technological University
Stretz, H. A. - Presenter, Tennessee Technological University
Gao, H. - Presenter, University of South Carolina

Nanocomposite hydrogels are a class of materials containing a hydrogel matrix typically consisting of a polyamide and a nanophase which can encompass any number of organic, metallic, or ceramic particles. Furthermore, these nanophase materials may take any number of different morphologies and aspect ratios. While nanocomposite hydrogels have been previously selected primarily for their enhanced mechanical properties, other potential applications exist. As hydrogels are ubiquitous in electrophoretic separation, the ability to impact and potentially improve electrophoretic properties via the incorporation of nanoparticles could be another promising application of these nanocomposite hydrogels. In a recent publication, the impact of nanoparticle aspect ratio on electrophoretic transport in PAM-Au nanocomposite hydrogels has been shown using rod shaped particles which were randomly aligned (1).  Another potential tunable parameter might be aligning anisotropic particles. Another recent publication has shown that montmorillonite nanoparticles may be aligned in the presence of a magnetic field exceeding 1.4 Tesla (2). Montmorillonite discs as both high in aspect ratio as well as having the ability to be aligned should be a great model nanoparticle for this system. This presentation will present information about the synthesis of these aligned nanomaterials using Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High- and Thermo-magnetic processing facility, characterization through electron microscopy, as well as information about the electrophoretic separation of two protein probes, ovalbumin and carbonic anhydrase over a range of compositions and two different orientations. 

1) Thompson et.al. IECR 2010 49 (23), pp 12104–12110.

2) Koerner et. al Chem Mater. 2005 17, pp 1990-1996.