A new highly adaptable design of shear-flow device for orientation of macromolecules for Linear Dichroism (LD) measurement
Journal article, 2011
This article presents a new design of flow-orientation device for the study of bio-macromolecules, including DNA and protein complexes, as well as aggregates such as amyloid fibrils and liposome membranes, using Linear Dichroism (LD) spectroscopy. The design provides a number of technical advantages that should make the device inexpensive to manufacture, easier to use and more reliable than existing techniques. The degree of orientation achieved is of the same order of magnitude as that of the commonly used concentric cylinders Couette flow cell, however, since the device exploits a set of flat strain-free quartz plates, a number of problems associated with refraction and birefringence of light are eliminated, increasing the sensitivity and accuracy of measurement. The device provides similar shear rates to those of the Couette cell but is superior in that the shear rate is constant across the gap. Other major advantages of the design is the possibility to change parts and vary sample volume and path length easily and at a low cost.