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Keywords:

  • CE-SSCP;
  • High resolution;
  • Pluronic polymer;
  • Polymer blend;
  • Polymer matrix

Pluronic F108 block copolymers have shown a great promise to achieve the desirable high resolution in the conformation-sensitive separation of ssDNA using CE-SSCP. However, fundamental understanding of the structures and properties of Pluronic matrix affecting the resolution is still limited. Unlike conventional gel-forming homopolymers, Pluronic F108 block copolymers are amphiphilic macromolecules consisting of poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(propylene oxide)-b-poly(ethylene oxide) triblock copolymers, which are capable of forming a highly ordered micellar structure in aqueous solution. In this study, we have performed a series of experiments by blending different types of Pluronic polymers to control the formation of micelles and to study the correlation between separation and rheological characteristics of Pluronic gels affecting the resolution of CE-SSCP. Our experiments have been specifically designed to elucidate how the micellar structure affects the resolution of CE-SSCP upon altering the size uniformity and constituent homogeneity of the micelles. Our results suggest that uniformly sized micelle packing is the primary structural feature of Pluronic gel matrix for the high-resolution separation, while the size and constituent of the micelle themselves need to be considered as secondary factors.