Symmetry-broken reactant motion upon phase-related symmetrically modulated excitations: application to highly selective molecular sorting.

Laboratoire de Physique Théorique des Liquides, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, C.N.R.S. U.M.R. 7600, 4, place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry A (Impact Factor: 2.77). 07/2005; 109(25):5770-6. DOI:10.1021/jp0509156
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper introduces a separation protocol relying on affinity chromatography that exhibits unprecedented selectivities. We submit the mixture contained in the separative medium to the simultaneous action of two symmetrically modulated excitations. The first is a uniform periodic field (e.g., electric field) with zero mean value, whereas the second is the periodic modulation of a thermodynamic parameter such as the temperature. Under appropriate tuning of the modulations with the dynamics of the discriminating chemical reaction, we predict a symmetry breaking of molecular motion: the mixture components that are addressed by their rate constants exhibit an oriented motion for a particular phase relation between the modulations of the field and the thermodynamic parameter. The resulting velocity of the mixture components depends on the rate constants and on a conjugated thermodynamic value such as the standard enthalpy of the discrimination process in the case of a temperature modulation. In particular, it may be possible to separate mixture components with identical rate constants. We use the present approach to design a protocol to sort nucleic acids by their sequence.

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