For the preparation of the degraded Dex-GMA hydrogel specimen for SEM observation, a Dex-GMA film was placed in the dextranase buffer solution with pH 7.3 for 24 h.
Without dextranase, there was no significant weight change in any of the hydrogels as a function of time.
Therefore, dextranase in microfluidic device had larger degree of accessibility.
Results show that Dex-GMA hydrogels can be degraded in the presence of dextranase in microfluidic channels.
"For years, factories have been operating on faith," says Eggleston, "assuming that the dextranase they're using will do the job.
Working alongside factory personnel, like Adrian Monge at Louisiana's Cora Texas Manufacturing Company in White Castle, Eggleston has developed a quick factory laboratory test that should help take the mystery out of dextranase usage.
"To increase contact between concentrated dextranase and its substrate, dextran," says Eggleston, "we learned that it's best to add larger volumes of a concentrated enzyme that's been diluted with inexpensive tap water."
Factories have immediately benefited from the new measurement tool and knowledge about when and where to add dextranase. Louisiana factories that have adopted the technology are seeing as much as a 95-percent reduction in dextran in their cane juice.