Hybridization thermodynamics of dna oligonucleotides during microchip capillary electrophoresis

Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is a powerful analytical tool for performing separations and characterizing properties of charged species. For reacting species during a CE separation, local concentrations change leading to nonequilibrium conditions. Interpreting experimental data with such nonequilibrium reactive species is nontrivial due to the large number of variables involved in the system. In this work we develop a COMSOL multiphysics-based numerical model to simulate the electrokinetic mass transport of short interacting ssDNAs in microchip capillary electrophoresis. We probe the importance of the dissociation constant, KD , and the concentration of DNA on the resulting observed mobility of the dsDNA peak, μw, by using a full sweep of parametric simulations. We find that the observed mobility is strongly dependent on the DNA concentration and KD , as well as ssDNA concentration, and develop a relation with which to understand this dependence. Furthermore, we present experimental microchip capillary electrophoresis measurements of interacting 10 base ssDNA and its complement with changes in buffer ionic strength, DNA concentration, and DNA sequence to vary the system equilibria. We then compare our results to thermodynamically calculated KD values.

T. M. Wynne, C. McCallum, J. T. Del Bonis-O’Donnell, P. Crisalli, and S. Pennathur
Analytical Chemistry
Volume: 87
Number: 5
Pages: 2811–2818
Date: January, 2015
ICB Affiliated Authors: Sumita Pennathur