Low voltage capillary electrophoresis using high conductivity agarose nano-platinum composites

Shantanu Bhattacharya, Deb Gangopadhyay, Nripen Chanda, Sheila A. Grant, Yishao Liu, Paul R. Sharp, Rashid Bashir, Keshab Gangopadhyay, Shubhra Gangopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Micro-channel based electrophoretic separation systems are commonly used in gene sequencing and analysis. A significant amount of research has focused on the development of fast and high resolution separation systems as part of miniaturized genotyping platforms. These devices are not suitable for field deployment due to their high voltage requirements for micro-channel based electrophoresis. In order to address this issue, we have developed and tested a new agarose gel doped with nanoplatinum for conducting capillary electrophoresis in micro capillaries at low electric field values. The platinum nanoparticles reduce the gel resistance of the agarose gels by 3-4 fold. We have further observed a faster movement of DNA band in this novel gel material allowing a reduction of the fractionating electric field within Poly dimethyl Siloxane (PDMS) capillaries. Impedance studies performed on this new gel material indicate a 1.34 times increase in the dielectric constant of the medium as a result of doping by nano-particles and a 37% reduction in the resistance. We believe that the higher conductivity of the medium and an increased dielectric constant of the medium result in increased ionic mobility within this material. We have also compared the stain mobility values in glass PDMS capillaries of a 1 kbp ladder, and a 750 bp dS DNA segment and have successfully obtained electrophoresis within the micro-channels at a lower electric field (25 V/cm).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-783
Number of pages6
JournalSensor Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Capillary
  • DNA
  • Electrophoresis
  • Mobility
  • Nanoplatinum
  • PDMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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