Diamond cubic phase of monoolein and water as an amphiphilic matrix for electrophoresis of oligonucleotides
Journal article, 2005

We used a cubic liquid crystal formed by the nonionic monoglyceride monoolein and water as a porous matrix for the electrophoresis of oligonucleotides. The diamond cubic phase is thermodynamically stable when in contact with a water-rich phase, which we exploit to run the electrophoresis in the useful submarine mode. Oligonucleotides are separated according to size and secondary structure by migration through the space-filling aqueous nanometer pores of the regular liquid crystal, but the comparatively slow migration means the cubic phase will not be a replacement for the conventional DNA gels. However, our demonstration that the cubic phase can be used in submarine electrophoresis opens up the possibility for a new matrix for electrophoresis of amphiphilic molecules. From this perspective, the results on the oligonucleotides show that water-soluble particles of nanometer size, typical for the hydrophilic parts of membrane-bound proteins, may be a useful separation motif. A charged contamination in the commercial sample of monoolein, most likely oleic acid that arises from its hydrolysis, restricts useful buffer conditions to a pH below 5.6.


Nils Carlsson

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Physical Chemistry

AS Winge

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Physical Chemistry

Sven Engström

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Applied Surface Chemistry

Björn Åkerman

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Physical Chemistry


Vol. 109 39 18628-18636

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Physical Chemistry

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