Thermophoresis in protein solutions
INFM, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Nucleare, Politecnico
di Milano via Ponzio 34/3, 20133 Milano, Italy
Accepted: 19 May 2003
Thermophoresis, unlike thermal diffusion in simple mixtures, consists in particle drift induced by a temperature gradient . We show that thermophoresis in lysozyme solutions has a very distinctive behavior: particle motion can indeed be tuned from “thermophobic” (towards the cold) to “thermophilic” (along ) by decreasing T. The observed temperature behaviour weakly depends on electrostatic effects, and rather suggests a primary role of hydrophobic interactions, further supported by comparison with the temperature dependence of lysozyme equilibrium solubility. Most of the observed features can be qualitatively understood by envisaging thermophoresis as a “microscopic Marangoni effect”, due to thermally induced gradients of the interfacial free energy.
PACS: 66.10.Cb – Diffusion and thermal diffusion / 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 87.15.Nn – Properties of solutions; aggregation and crystallization of macromolecules
© EDP Sciences, 2003