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Proceedings Paper

DNA tug of war: tether forces on DNA in a nanopore
Author(s): Ulrich F. Keyser
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Paper Abstract

Optical tweezers are well-known tools for the mechanical manipulation of single molecules in aqueous solutions. Here I will discuss a new development - the combination of optical tweezers with solid-state nanopores. Nanopores are holes in thin membranes usually a few 10s of nm in diameter or even with single nm diameters. In aqueous solutions an ionic current can be driven through a nanopore and thus the translocation of a single molecule detected. Although this information can be used to characterize the length and charge of the molecules, there is no information about the force or position during this process. I will discuss how optical tweezers can be used to mechanically control the translocation process, what we learned so far and where we are going with the technology. In particular, I will show that the optical tweezers/nanopore combination proved to be of exceptional value in unraveling the coupling between electrokinetic and hydrodynamic effects during voltage-driven translocation. This has implication for a wide range of applications ranging from gel electrophoresis to DNA manipulation for lab-on-the chip technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 2010
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7762, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VII, 776204 (28 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.862650
Show Author Affiliations
Ulrich F. Keyser, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7762:
Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VII
Kishan Dholakia; Gabriel C. Spalding, Editor(s)

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