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22 February 2008 Alignment techniques for preparation of protein-containing surfactant nematic cells
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We report on first successful alignment of a surfactant lyotropic nematic between rubbed glass substrates either clean or spin-coated with a polymer layer. Worsening of the alignment either at small number of rubbings (less than 60), at long time delay before filling the cell or when washing the rubbed substrates in deionized water, suggest that the rubbinginduced electrostatic charging of the substrate surface is the main alignment mechanism. Prepared surfonematic cells have good optical quality allowing us to perform optical characterization of the studied surfonematic. The surfonematic is optically negative with the weak light wavelengths dispersion. The absolute value of the birefringence is low: -(6x10-4). For the first time we report that hemoglobin molecules can be dissolved in the surfonematic matrix. Hemoglobin dissolved in well-aligned surfonematic matrix display polarization spectra which differ from its spectrum in water: 1) wide absorption band in the spectral range 540-640nm for hemoglobin in the surfonematic is different from that for water solutions of hemoglobin; 2) polarization spectra of hemoglobin in aligned surfonematic display weak dichroism leading to the estimation of the orientation order parameter for hemoglobin molecules to be about 10-2. These spectral features indicate that hemoglobin residues form anisotropic complexes with positively charged surfactant residues. At the studied concentration these complexes are weakly aligned by the surfonematic matrix but are not birefringent and do not affect the orientational order of the surfonematic matrix.
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M. M. Omelchenko, O. P. Boiko, V. G. Nazarenko, R. O. Vlokh, and Yu. A. Nastishin "Alignment techniques for preparation of protein-containing surfactant nematic cells", Proc. SPIE 6628, Diagnostic Optical Spectroscopy in Biomedicine IV, 66280T (22 February 2008);

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