We report unique findings on the voltage dependence of protein exclusion from the pores of nanoporous polymer exclusion membranes. The pores are small enough that proteins are excluded from passage with low applied electric fields, but increasing the field enables proteins to pass through. The requisite field necessary for a change in exclusion is protein-specific with a correlation to protein size. The field-dependence of exclusion is important to consider for preconcentration applications. The ability to selectively gate proteins at exclusion membranes is also a promising means for manipulating and characterizing proteins. We show that field-gated exclusion can be used to selectively remove proteins from a mixture, or to selectively trap protein at one exclusion membrane in a series.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
The United States Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation.