Micro-thermal focusing field-flow fractionation.


Focusing mechanism was effectively exploited to separate large (micrometer-size) particles by using new micro-thermal field-flow fractionation (micro-TFFF). It has been shown that the retention order of micrometer-size particles at high field strength can be explained by the mechanism of steric exclusion only at lowest flow rates of the carrier liquid. A simplistic, purely mechanical model of steric exclusion is not accurate to describe the retention at higher flow rates where the focusing phenomenon appears. Despite the fact that the thickness of the channel for micro-FFF cannot be reduced without taking into account a possible deterioration of the separation due to the contribution of "steric exclusion" mechanism, this paper demonstrates, in agreement with our previous results, that if the operational conditions were conveniently chosen, namely a low flow rate, a reasonable fit of the experimental retention data with the theory of steric exclusion mechanism in FFF was found and the separation of micron-size particles can be accomplished. However, high selectivity and resolution and high-speed separation were achieved if the focusing effect has clearly dominated the FFF mechanism. As a result, it seems that the micro-TFFF is the most universal technique which can be applied for the separation of the synthetic and natural macromolecules within an extended range of molar masses up to ultra-high molar masses and for the particles of various chemical nature and origin in a nano-size range as well as for large (micrometers) particles. Until nowadays, only sedimentation and flow field-flow fractionation techniques in so called "steric" modes were applied for the separations of large size particles. This application of micro-TFFF in focusing mode for the separation of large size particles is the first one described in the literature.

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@article{Jana2004MicrothermalFF, title={Micro-thermal focusing field-flow fractionation.}, author={Josef Jan{\vc}a and Irina A Ananieva and Anastasija Yu Menshikova and Tatiana G Evseeva}, journal={Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences}, year={2004}, volume={800 1-2}, pages={33-40} }