Gel Electrophoresis of a Hydrophobic Liquid Droplet with an Equipotential Slip Surface

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Research Article

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A theoretical study has been carried out on the electrophoresis of charged dielectric liquid droplets with an equipotential and hydrodynamically slipping surface moving in a quenched polymeric charged hydrogel medium. The liquid inside the droplet is electrically neutral. The Brinkman-Debye-Bueche model is employed to study the gel electrophoresis of such a hydrophobic and equipotential liquid droplet considering the long-range hydrodynamic interaction between a migrating droplet and the gel skeleton. Within the weak field and Debye-Hückel electrostatic framework, we derive an original closed-form expression for electrophoretic mobility, which further recovers the existing mobility expressions derived under several limiting conditions. The derived expressions for electrophoretic mobility explicitly involve exponential integrals, which are not so convenient for practical applications. Thus, the exact forms of the electrophoretic mobility under various electrohydrodynamic conditions are further approximated to make them free from exponential integrals. The approximate forms are found to be in excellent agreement with the exact results with maximum relative errors of about 1.5%.

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