Nanoparticle replica filters

C. Zafiu, D. Willbold, E.-K. Sinner
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, AT

Keywords: nanoparticles, separation, sensorics, assays, biomolecules, filtrations


Challenges in reducing the dispersity of nanoparticles or enhancing the detection of biomolecules can be achieved by filtering. However, filters capable for cut-ting off particle sizes in the lower nanometer range are difficult to manufacture. The use of nanoparticles as a precursor for such a filter system results in an enhanced separation efficiency. The particles used for generating the filter assembly are low cost silica particles which can be tailored over 2 decades in diameters (<10 -1000 nm). This silica material is suitable since it can be simply removed in the process by etching. The replica consisting of polypyrrol is electrochemically polymerised, which avoids several drawbacks (e.g. crack formation) compared to other polymer-isation techniques. Moreover, polypyrrol exhibits also functions which can be chemically modified and is also electrically conductive. The presented technique is capable to be used as sensor itself or as a module for assays to separate biomolecules (even very small ones) in qualitative and quantitative approaches. Especially, in the separation of multimer biomolecules from their monomers could open a new field of application for such specific filtering systems.