A three-dimensional microporous polymer network material, or monolith, cast-to-shape in a microchannel. The polymer monolith, produced by a phase separation process, is capable of trapping and retaining charged protein species from a mixture of charged and uncharged species under the influence of an applied electric field. The retained charged protein species are released from the porous polymer monolith by a pressure driven flow in the substantial absence of the electric field. The pressure driven flow is independent of direction and thus neither means to reverse fluid flow nor a multi-directional flow field is required, a single flow through the porous polymer monolith can be employed, in contrast to prior art systems. The monolithic polymer material produced by the invention can function as a chromatographic medium. Moreover, by virtue of its ability to retain charged protein species and quantitatively release the retained species the porous polymer monolith can serve as a means for concentrating charged protein species from, for example, a dilute solution.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.