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ACS Nano. 2013 Jul 23;7(7):5892-900. doi: 10.1021/nn4012434. Epub 2013 Jun 21.

Threading immobilized DNA molecules through a solid-state nanopore at >100 μs per base rate.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701, USA.


In pursuit of developing solid-state nanopore-based DNA sequencing technology, we have designed and constructed an apparatus that can place a DNA-tethered probe tip near a solid-state nanopore, control the DNA moving speed, and measure the ionic current change when a DNA molecule is captured and released from a nanopore. The probe tip's position is sensed and controlled by a tuning fork based feedback force sensor and a nanopositioning system. Using this newly constructed apparatus, a DNA strand moving rate of >100 μs/base or <1 nm/ms in silicon nitride nanopores has been accomplished. This rate is 10 times slower than by manipulating DNA-tethered beads using optical tweezers and 1000 times slower than free DNA translocation through solid-state nanopores reported previously, which provides enough temporal resolution to read each base on a tethered DNA molecule using available single-channel recording electronics on the market today. This apparatus can measure three signals simultaneously: ionic current through a nanopore, tip position, and tip vibrational amplitude during the process of a DNA molecule's capture and release by a nanopore. We show results of this apparatus for measuring λ DNA's capture and release distances and for current blockage signals of λ DNA molecules biotinylated with one end and with both ends tethered to a tip.

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