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Scientific article
English

Local and Average Diffusion of Nanosolutes in Agarose Gel: the Effect of the Gel/Solution Interface Structure

Published inLangmuir, vol. 23, no. 4, p. 2083-2090
Publication date2007-02-13
Abstract

Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) has been used to study the diffusion of nanometric solutes in agarose gel, at microscopic and macroscopic scales. Agarose gel was prepared and put in contact with aqueous solution. Several factors were studied: (i) the role of gel relaxation after its preparation, (ii) the specific structure of the interfacial zone and its role on the local diffusion coefficient of solutes, and (iii) the comparison between the local diffusion coefficient and the average diffusion coefficient in the gel. Fluorescent dyes and labeled biomolecules were used to cover a size range of solutes of 1.5 to 15 nm. Their transport through the interface from the solution toward the gel was modeled by the first Fick's law based on either average diffusion coefficients or the knowledge of local diffusion coefficients in the system. Experimental results have shown that, at the liquid/gel interface, a gel layer with a thickness of 120 microm is formed with characteristics significantly different from the bulk gel. In particular, in this layer, the porosity of agarose fiber network is significantly lower than in the bulk gel. The diffusion coefficient of solutes in this layer is consequently decreased for steric reasons. Modeling of solute transport shows that, in the bulk gel, macroscopic diffusion satisfactorily follows the classical Fick's diffusion laws. For the tested solutes, the local diffusion coefficients in the bulk gel, measured at microscopic scale by FCS, were equal, within experimental errors, to the average diffusion coefficients applicable at macroscopic scales (>or=mm). This confirms that anomalous diffusion applies only to solutes with sizes close to the gel pore size and at short time (<or=min) and spatial scales (<or=1 microm).

eng
Keywords
  • Diffusion
  • Gels / chemistry
  • Models, Chemical
  • Nanostructures / chemistry
  • Phase Transition
  • Sepharose / chemistry
  • Solutions
  • Water / chemistry
Citation (ISO format)
LABILLE, Jérôme, FATIN-ROUGE, Nicolas, BUFFLE, Jacques. Local and Average Diffusion of Nanosolutes in Agarose Gel: the Effect of the Gel/Solution Interface Structure. In: Langmuir, 2007, vol. 23, n° 4, p. 2083–2090. doi: 10.1021/la0611155
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ISSN of the journal0743-7463
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