Limits in size of Taylor dispersion analysis: representation of the different hydrodynamic regimes and application to the size-characterization of cubosomes


Subjects: Polymers

Taylor dispersion analysis (TDA) is an absolute method (no calibration needed) for the determination of the molecular diffusion coefficient (D) based on the band broadening of a solute in a laminar flow. TDA is virtually applicable to any solute with size ranging from angstrom to sub-micrometer. The higher sizing limit is restricted by the occurrence of possibly two regimes: convective and hydrodynamic chromatography (HDC) regimes, which have different physical origins that should not be confused. This work aims at clearly defining the experimental conditions for which these two regimes can play a role, alone or concomitantly. It also calculates the relative error on D due to the HDC regime according to the solute to capillary size ratio. It is demonstrated in this work that HDC does not significantly affect the TDA measurement as long as the hydrodynamic radius of the solute is lower than 0.0051 times the capillary radius. Experimental illustrations of the occurrence of the two regimes are given taking polystyrene nanoparticles as model solutes. Finally, application of TDA to the sizing of large real-life solutes is proposed, taking cubosomes as new drug nanocarriers of potential interest for drug delivery purposes.