Punctuated Microgradients for Improved Separations of Molecules and Particles

Mark Hayes (Inventor), Thomas Taylor (Inventor)

Research output: Patent


fEffective control of molecular or particle transport drives many scientific, medical, pharmaceutical and environmental technologies. In complex biological samples, targets are commonly accompanied by unwanted species, often having very similar properties, so targets must be isolated before they can be analyzed. Many existing separations methodologies, especially those in clinical diagnostics, leave room for improvement and development of new separatory tools may drive technological innovations across a variety of potential commercial applications. Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a novel approach to equilibrium gradient separations. This method utilizes a specific and unique configuration of opposing force gradients for steady-state separations that dramatically minimizes particle dispersion and increases the selectivity of particle capture. These force gradients can be arranged to form multiple, distinct capture zones in series or in parallel. The unique configuration and adaptability of this technique to microfluidic and nanofluidic formats allows for the production of powerful and portable devices for analysis, detection and diagnosis. Potential Applications Separation, capture and concentration of single/multiple species within a single device for analysis, detection and diagnosis: Single molecules Macromolecules Biological species Particles Benefits and Advantages 100-fold greater analyte selectivity compared with the best analytical separations currently available Minimized particle dispersion Multiple analyte species can be captured in a single device Gradients can be tuned for separation/concentration of highly similar analytes Can be used for field-based approaches (electric, magnetic and flow fields) and chemical based approaches (pH, solvent, affinity and surface effects) The size range for particles is single atom up to 10 m or more - this spans a wide range of real-world targets including single molecules, macromolecules, particles or biological species Increased separation speeds Dowload Original PDF For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see Dr. Hayes' departmental webpage Dr. Hayes' research webpage Dr. Taylor's directory webpage Dr. Taylor's faculty webpage
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Oct 9 2012


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