Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rigid Resin for Size Exclusion Chromatography

Caia Alter (me, Gus Rosania, left hidden) and CaiaLanz Alter (Nan Zheng, one of my grad students, right) discussing the pink polymer I built last night, to be used for size separations.

CaiaLanz Alter (Nan Zheng, one of my graduate student) and Caia Alter (me: Gus Rosania, RL) discuss polymers, separations, chromatography in front of a newly built, pink rigid resin. Note a single monomer lying on the floor, and the bottom left of the photo.

I had too little time yesterday to do the experiments I had set out to do. Instead, I decided to build a rigid resin for size exclusion chromatography, and save the actual chromatography experiments for later. As a monomer, a decided to use a torus. I used a thin torus, because I wanted to craft a porous structure out of thin rigid fibers. Then, I linked a dozen or so toruses together. As physical objects, the interlinked toruses behaved pretty well and natural (Today, Hiro Sheridan, my next door neighbor in SL, asked me if they behaved as a catenary? I did not know what that was...but based on what Hiro told me, if the physics are right then they should behave as a catenary...one more thing to read about and test). In any case, after I interlaced the toruses (tori?), I linked them. This made them lose their physicality while becoming a rigid mesh. The mesh looks like a good physical model for rigid size exclusion chromatography resin, and perhaps also for polyacrilamide (or agarose) gels for molecular size-separation (although the polyacrilamide or agarose gel may be best modeled by the more flexibile physical object, than by the rigid linked object). Luckily, building the resin went fairly quick and easy.

Today in the morning, I asked Nan Zheng, one of my grad students, to stop by my SL lab and check out the resins I had bult. Nan has been rightfully skeptical of this whole enterprise of mine (as any good scientist should be!). I have told Nan that I only do this after hours, on weekends and during the Holidays (which to a great extent is actually true...). But then, after I told her that the resin was for simulation of chromatographic separations, she really liked my resin! So, I think Nan is getting it...I guess that a pharmaceutical scientist/chemist has no business playing around with balls and rings, but when the balls are molecules and the rings are monomers with which to make a polymer....then it is OK! I have enclosed some pictures of Nan and I discussing polymers and size-exclusion chromatography simulation in SL.

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About Me

I am Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences