Non-Polar Electrical Field Flow Fractionation

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dale Russell


The purpose of the Np-EFFF project is to explore a novel method of isolating membrane and lipophilic proteins from adipose tissues. Existing methods rely on water-based solvents and the use of surfactants which can destroy the protein function. The non-polar solutions are expected to maintain the native conformation and function of the proteins and to permit their study. The Np-EFFF instrument consists of two oppositely charged electrodes, a channel between the plates, a sample inlet to the channel, and a protein detector at the end. The electrodes have a protected gold coating and optical surface roughness. This will prevent surface interference within the sample flow while ensuring a consistent electric field. The channel is deeper and shorter than previous constructions. We believe that this will allow distinct separation by charge, such that neutral proteins will elute first while the charged proteins are retained in the channel. The shorter length of the channel will provide adequate mass separation with minimal mixing within the flow. Analysis of samples using gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and MALLS detection will show protein separation. If successful, this method will allow for the understudied proteins that are critical to many life functions to be isolated and characterized.

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