Field-Dependent DNA Mobility in 20nm High Nanoslits


Salieb-Beugelaar, Georgette B. and Teapal, Juliane and Nieuwkasteele, Jan van and Wijnperle , Daniel and Tegenfeldt, Jonas O. and Lisdat, Fred and Berg, Albert van den and Eijkel, Jan C.T. (2008) Field-Dependent DNA Mobility in 20nm High Nanoslits. Nano Letters, 8 (7). pp. 1785-1790. ISSN 1530-6984

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Abstract:The transport behavior of λ-DNA (48 kbp) in fused silica nanoslits is investigated upon application of electrical fields of different strengths. The slit dimensions are 20 nm in height, 3 µm in width, and 500 µm in length. With fields of 30 kV/m or below, the molecules move fluently through the slits, while at higher electrical fields, the DNA molecules move intermittently, resulting in a strongly reduced mobility. We propose that the behavior can be explained by mechanical and/or field-induced dielectrophoretic DNA trapping due to the surface roughness in the nanoslits. The observation of preferential pathways and trapping sites of the λ-DNA molecules through the nanoslits supports this hypothesis and indicates that the classical viscous friction models to explain the DNA movement in nanoslits needs to be modified to include these effects. Preliminary experiments with the smaller XbaI-digested litmus-DNA (2.8 kbp) show that the behavior is size-dependent, suggesting that the high field electrophoresis in nanoslits can be used for DNA separation.
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Copyright:© 2008 American Chemical Society
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