We developed a sulphur dioxide plasma modification on a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) material for fluidic electrophoresis devices. The inner surface of the PMMA channel of a chip was modified by using sulphur dioxide plasma treatment. Contact angle measurements indicated that the buffer solutions were able to fill the capillary because of the hydrophilic property of the internal surface of the chip. XPS analysis indicated that the sulphur dioxide plasma treatment introduced a negative charge originating from the dissociation of the hydrogen atoms of sulphonic groups. Since this introduced a negative charge originating from strong acid sulphonic groups onto the surface of the channel, the electroosmotic flow (EOF) was observed to be large (∼7 × 10-4 m2 V-1 s-1) and stable over a wide range of pH (4-10). The chip was fabricated by using plastic injection moulding methods for enabling the mass fabrication and disposable use of chips. The separation method is based on the net electric charge of the material, which enables the separation of identical samples on the basis of both isoelectric points and molecular weight. Two synthetic peptides with similar isoelectric points and molecular weights but different net charges were selected as model protein samples for the separation. The sample peptides were detected under fluorescence microscopy. The resulting electropherograms obtained by using the sulphur dioxide plasma-treated PMMA chip demonstrated that the two peptides were separated and that the migration time of the peptides was correlated with the net charge.
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