Forum 01/28/2008

“Field-Flow Fraction, a novel separation technique for characterization of macromolecules and nanoparticles”

Soheyl Tadjiki – Postnova Analytics Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah

Field-Flow Fractionation (FFF) is a chromatography-like separation technique in which sample species are separated in an open, thin channel. The separation is achieved by applying an external field perpendicular to the channel flow. Sample species interact with the field at different extent and are transported laterally from channel inlet to outlet at different velocities.

FFF offers a non-destructive and gentle separation with a broad applicability. FFF can be used to separate macromolecular and particulate species in the size range of 1 nm to 50 µm. Different sample parameters such as hydrodynamic diameter, mass, electrophoretic mobility, thermal diffusion, magnetophoretic mobility can be experimentally calculated when Flow, Centrifugal, Electrical, Thermal gradient and Magnetic forces are used for the separation respectively.

In this presentation, FFF separation mechanism and different FFF sub-techniques will be explained briefly. Some recent applications in characterization of protein and protein aggregates, perfluorocarbon emulsions, carbon nano-clusters, single walled carbon nano-tubes and silica nanoparticles extracted from biological media will be presented.

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