Developing an integrated platform to concentrate, separate and characterize low-abundance proteins at high resolution as a means of identifying trace biomarkers would have a significant impact in detection and treatment of human diseases. One technique, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), has been a popular tool for protein separations, but this techniques has a number of limitations such as long separation time, large amount of sample required, low reproducibility, breakdown under high electric field, and low dynamic range. Nanofluidic technologies have been emerging to improve the efficiency of protein analysis and do so by taking advantage of the nanofluidic characteristics such as: high level of controllability on electrokinetics (e.g., electrophoresis and electroosmosis) and local pH as well as significant channel wall-molecule interactions. However, in spite of the recent advances in nanofluidic technologies, this is the first invention able to establish a stable pH gradient without the use of ampholytes by utilizing transverse gate electrodes to manipulate the surface charge and therefore zeta potential of the channel walls. One can manipulate the pH in the nanochannels spatially and temporally thereby allowing a variety of protein separation techniques, including isoelectric focusing (IEF) and dynamic field gradient focusing (DFGF).
This invention is a method and device for a nanochannel apparatus that provides a versatile platform to separate proteins with high resolution, using different separation techniques such as: IEF and DFGF. The method and device are comprised of a semiconductor substrate defining nanochannels through which protein movement can be induced by electrical potential.
High resolution protein focusing
- No use of ampholytes
- Requires low electrical potential
- Short separation time
- Small amount of required sample
- High reproducibility
- Cost effective
STC has filed intellectual property on this exciting new technology and is currently exploring commercialization options. If you are interested in information about this or other technologies, please contact Arlene Mirabal at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-272-7886.