Surface modification of poly(methyl methacrylate) for improved adsorption of wall coating polymers for microchip electrophoresis

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA.
Electrophoresis (Impact Factor: 3.16). 10/2006; 27(19):3788-96. DOI: 10.1002/elps.200600118
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The development of rapid and simple wall coating strategies for high-efficiency electrophoretic separation of DNA is of crucial importance for the successful implementation of miniaturized polymeric DNA analysis systems. In this report, we characterize and compare different methods for the chemical modification of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) surfaces for the application of wall coating polymers. PMMA surfaces coated with 40 mol% diethylacrylamide and 60 mol% dimethylacrylamide are compared to the PMMA surfaces first oxidized and then coated with hydroxypropylmethyl-cellulose or poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA). PMMA oxidation was accomplished with UV/ozone or an aqueous solution of HNO(3) to yield hydrogen-bond donors for the spontaneous adsorption of the coating polymers. Contact angle measurements of UV/ozone exposed PMMA surfaces indicate increase in hydrophilicity, and polymer coated surfaces show a strong dependence on the coating polymer and the oxidation method. Fast and repeatable electrophoretic separations of a 10-base and 20-base DNA ladder were performed in PMMA micro CE devices. All analyses were completed in less than 10 min, resulting in the number of theoretical plates as high as 583 000 in a 7.7 cm long separation channel. The duration of UV/ozone treatment was found to have a considerable impact on separation performance. The microchips irradiated with UV for 10 min and coated with PVA as well as the microchips treated with HNO(3) and coated with HPMC were found to have the best separation performance. These results demonstrate facile and robust methods for the surface modification of PMMA enabling low-cost single use devices for electrophoretic DNA separations.

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