Detection and separation of polyamidoamine dendrimers possessing various cores and surface groups was studied by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Although many dyes and staining techniques were able to detect dendrimers on polyacrylamide gels, Coomassie Blue was found to be the most sensitive and convenient. Amine and hydroxyl terminated dendrimers were best separated under acidic conditions, while dendrimers with carboxyl surfaces required alkaline buffers. Some dendrimers were very susceptible to diffusion that could occur during their separation, staining or destaining steps. In the absence of an appropriate fixation step, dendrimers could be resolved by using small pore size gels and low voltage or current. Increasing core lengths did not significantly affect migration of a given dendrimer generation but exhibited improved separation and staining characteristics. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was found to be a rapid, inexpensive, and reliable procedure to characterize many different water-soluble dendritic macromolecules.
- Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
- Polyamidoamine dendrimers