Enhanced nanochannel translocation and localization of genomic DNA molecules using three-dimensional nanofunnels

TitleEnhanced nanochannel translocation and localization of genomic DNA molecules using three-dimensional nanofunnels
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsJ Zhou, Y Wang, LD Menard, S Panyukov, M Rubinstein, and Michael J Ramsey
JournalNature Communications
Date Published01/2017
Abstract

The ability to precisely control the transport of single DNA molecules through a nanoscale channel is critical to DNA sequencing and mapping technologies that are currently under development. Here we show how the electrokinetically driven introduction of DNA molecules into a nanochannel is facilitated by incorporating a three-dimensional nanofunnel at the nanochannel entrance. Individual DNA molecules are imaged as they attempt to overcome the entropic barrier to nanochannel entry through nanofunnels with various shapes. Theoretical modeling of this behavior reveals the pushing and pulling forces that result in up to a 30-fold reduction in the threshold electric field needed to initiate nanochannel entry. In some cases, DNA molecules are stably trapped and axially positioned within a nanofunnel at sub-threshold electric field strengths, suggesting the utility of nanofunnels as force spectroscopy tools. These applications illustrate the benefit of finely tuning nanoscale conduit geometries, which can be designed using the theoretical model developed here.

DOI10.1038/s41467-017-00951-4
Short TitleNature Communications