Isoelectric focusing in a silica nanofluidic channel: effects of electromigration and electroosmosis

Wei Lun Hsu, David W. Inglis, Michael A. Startsev, Ewa M. Goldys, Malcolm R. Davidson, Dalton J. E. Harvie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Isoelectric focusing of proteins in a silica nanofluidic channel filled with citric acid and disodium phosphate buffers is investigated via numerical simulation. Ions in the channel migrate in response to (i) the electric field acting on their charge and (ii) the bulk electroosmotic flow (which is directed toward the cathode). Proteins are focused near the low pH (anode) end when the electromigration effect is more significant and closer to the high pH (cathode) end when the electroosmotic effect dominates. We simulate the focusing behavior of Dylight labeled streptavidin (Dyl-Strep) proteins in the channel, using a relationship between the protein's charge and pH measured in a previous experiment. Protein focusing results compare well to previous experimental measurements. The effect of some key parameters, such as applied voltage, isoelectric point (pI), bulk pH, and bulk conductivity, on the protein trapping behavior in a nanofluidic channel is examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8711-8718
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2014


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