Magnetically Enhanced Aqueous Two-Phase Separation
A new technique to increase the rate of phase separation in aqueous two-phase systems is described. The technique is based on the use of magnetically susceptible additives, ferrofluids or iron oxide particles. In a magnetic field these additives will induce a faster phase separation. When dextran-covered ferrofluid or iron oxide particles were mixed with an aqueous two-phase system (PEG and dextran), it was found that the magnetic additive was totally distributed to the dextran phase. After mixing of the two-phase system, it was possible to reduce the time for phase separation by a factor of 35 (ferrofluid) or 70 (iron oxide particles) by applying a magnetic field (0.3 Tesla) to the system. It was found that neither the activity, nor the partitioning of the enzymes tested, was influenced by the addition of magnetically susceptible material. When ferrofluid was used it was possible to keep the dextran-phase stationary in a column system, while the PEG-phase could be pumped through the column.
KeywordsPhase Separation Phase System Iron Oxide Particle Susceptible Material Susceptible Additive
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