Coagulation of tobacco mosaic virus in alcohol-water-LiCl solutions

Sang Yup Lee, Jung Sun Lim, James N. Culver, Michael T. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The coagulation and colloidal stability of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) in alcohol-water-LiCl solutions were studied. Without the addition of LiCl salt, the coagulation was promoted by the increase of hydrophobicity of the alcohols that is proportional to their alkyl chain length and concentration. Addition of the LiCl salt reduced the electrostatic repulsion between TMV particles resulting in coagulation in methanol-water and ethanol-water solutions. In water-alcohol-LiCl mixture, the coagulation of TMV was driven by both the hydrophobic interaction of the solution and the screening effect of the salt simultaneously. To understand the particle-particle interaction during the coagulation, the interaction energy was calculated using DLVO theory. Considering the electrostatic repulsive energy, van der Waals attractive energy, and hydrophobic interaction energy, the total energy profiles were obtained. The experiment and model calculation results indicated that the increase of alcohol concentration would increase hydrophobic attraction energy so that the coagulation is promoted. These results provide the fundamental understanding on the coagulation of biomolecular macromolecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors appreciate the financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DEFG02-02-ER45975 and DEFG02-02-ER45976).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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