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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Nov 9;96(23):13165-9.

DNA transport by a micromachined Brownian ratchet device.

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  • 1CuraGen Corporation, 555 Long Wharf Drive, New Haven, CT 06511, USA. jsbader@curagen.com


We have micromachined a silicon-chip device that transports DNA with a Brownian ratchet that rectifies the Brownian motion of microscopic particles. Transport properties for a DNA 50-mer agree with theoretical predictions, and the DNA diffusion constant agrees with previous experiments. This type of micromachine could provide a generic pump or separation component for DNA or other charged species as part of a microscale lab-on-a-chip. A device with reduced feature size could produce a size-based separation of DNA molecules, with applications including the detection of single-nucleotide polymorphisms.

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