Thermoporosimetry of Polyacrylamide Gels: Characterization of Pore Size

Jonathan L. Wheeler, Chemical Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN 38505

Thermoporosimetry has been used by Johanns1 to characterize the pore size in cements and to investigate the validity of the method. Our group needs to know the pore sizes of polyacrylamide gels so that we may better model and understand the fluid dynamics of proteins passing through these gels. In modeling these effects, it may be possible to better our understanding of how pore sizes affect the transportation of proteins. Protein separations are carried out in gels and used for a variety of applications including drug delivery, purification of drugs, and tissue scaffolds to aid the healing of human skin and bone. Thermoporosimetry will offer a sound method of measuring the pore sizes and distribution in the acrylamide gels we are investigating. Preliminary results indicate that the method seems very applicable for the gels we are using.

1Revisiting Thermoporosimetry as a Technique for Pore Structure Characterization, Johanns, 2005

Acknowledgments: Dr. Holly Stretz, Dr. Pedro Arce, Dr. Joseph Biernacki, Jeffrey Thompson