Solubility tuning using the hydrophobic effect and its derivatives
Solubility is the ability of a molecule to favorably interact with a solvent. While seemingly simple in application many phenomena arise from knife-edge like conditions between solubility and insolubility. Herein, three of these phenomena; co-non-solvency, the hydrophobic effect, and the direct and reverse Hofmeister effects are investigated in detail to parse out a mechanistic view of solubility in each case. The first phenomenon, co-non-solvency, is the insolubility of a thermo-responsive polymer and a mixture of two good cosolvents. Host-guest systems are used to probe small molecule interactions in the presence of cosolvents for co-non-solvent effects. The second phenomenon, the hydrophobic effect, is often colloquially described as “oil and water do not mix.” However, this is much more complex when diving into the energetic contributions. Host-guest systems are used to determine structural effects novel hosts and guests have on the hydrophobic effect in collaboration with the computational community. The third phenomenon, the Hofmeister effects, are explored through the fine tuning of solubility of lysozyme through the addition of sodium perchlorate in varying pHs. This is used to determine a mechanistic view of protein solubility in the presence of salts.