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Surface design with self-heating smart polymers for on–off switchable traps

Author(s): Prapatsorn Techawanitchai, Kazuya Yamamoto, Mitsuhiro Ebara and Takao Aoyagi

Journal: Science and Technology of Advanced Materials
ISSN 1468-6996

Volume: 12;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 044609;
Date: 2011;
Original page

We have developed a novel self-heating, temperature-responsive chromatography system for the effective separation of biomolecules. Temperature-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-N-hydroxymethylacrylamide), poly(NIPAAm-co-HMAAm), was covalently grafted onto the surface of magnetite/silica composites as 'on-off' switchable surface traps. The lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the poly(NIPAAm-co-HMAAm)s was controlled from 35 to 55 °C by varying the HMAAm content. Using the heat generated by magnetic particles in an alternating magnetic field (AMF) we were able to induce the hydrophilic to hydrophobic phase separation of the grafted temperature-responsive polymers. To assess the feasibility of the poly(NIPAAm-co-HMAAm)-grafted magnetite/silica particles as the stationary phase for chromatography, we packed the particles into the glass column of a liquid chromatography system and analyzed the elusion profiles for steroids. The retention time for hydrophobic steroids markedly increased in the AMF, because the hydrophobic interaction was enhanced via self-heating of the grafted magnetite/silica particles, and this effect could be controlled by changing the AMF irradiation time. Turning off the AMF shortened the total analysis time for steroids. The proposed system is useful for separating bioactive compounds because their elution profiles can be easily controlled by an AMF.
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