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Langmuir. 2009 Jan 20;25(2):1233-7. doi: 10.1021/la803556p.

Controlling the translocation of single-stranded DNA through alpha-hemolysin ion channels using viscosity.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Utah, 315S. 1400E, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA. rjkawano@chem.utah.edu


Translocation of single-stranded DNA through alpha-hemolysin (alpha-HL) channels is investigated in glycerol/water mixtures containing 1 M KCl. Experiments using glass nanopore membranes as the lipid bilayer support demonstrate that the translocation velocities of poly(deoxyadenylic acid), poly(deoxycytidylic acid), and poly(deoxythymidylic acid) 50-mers are decreased by a factor of approximately 20 in a 63/37 (vol %) glycerol/water mixture, relative to aqueous solutions. The ion conductance of alpha-HL and the entry rate of the polynucleotides into the protein channel also decrease with increasing viscosity. Precise control of translocation parameters by adjusting viscosity provides a potential means to improve sequencing methods based on ion channel recordings.

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