Nanochannel confinement: DNA stretch approaching full contour length

Yoori Kim, Ki Seok Kim, Kristy L. Kounovsky, Rakwoo Chang, Gun Young Jung, Juan J. Depablo, Kyubong Jo, David C. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Fully stretched DNA molecules are becoming a fundamental component of new systems for comprehensive genome analysis. Among a number of approaches for elongating DNA molecules, nanofluidic molecular confinement has received enormous attentions from physical and biological communities for the last several years. Here we demonstrate a well-optimized condition that a DNA molecule can stretch almost to its full contour length: the average stretch is 19.1 m ± 1.1 m for YOYO-1 stained λ DNA (21.8 m contour length) in 250 nm × 400 nm channel, which is the longest stretch value ever reported in any nanochannels or nanoslits. In addition, based on Odijk's polymer physics theory, we interpret our experimental findings as a function of channel dimensions and ionic strengths. Furthermore, we develop a Monte Carlo simulation approach using a primitive model for the rigorous understanding of DNA confinement effects. Collectively, we present a more complete understanding of nanochannel confined DNA stretching via the comparisons to computer simulation results and Odijk's polymer physics theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1721-1729
Number of pages9
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number10
StatePublished - 21 May 2011


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