Asymmetric dynamics of DNA entering and exiting a strongly confining nanopore.

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Bell, Nicholas AW 
Ghosal, Sandip 
Ricci, Maria 

In nanopore sensing, changes in ionic current are used to analyse single molecules in solution. The translocation dynamics of polyelectrolytes is of particular interest given potential applications such as DNA sequencing. In this paper, we determine how the dynamics of voltage driven DNA translocation can be affected by the nanopore geometry and hence the available configurational space for the DNA. Using the inherent geometrical asymmetry of a conically shaped nanopore, we examine how DNA dynamics depends on the directionality of transport. The total translocation time of DNA when exiting the extended conical confinement is significantly larger compared to the configuration where the DNA enters the pore from the open reservoir. By using specially designed DNA molecules with positional markers, we demonstrate that the translocation velocity progressively increases as the DNA exits from confinement. We show that a hydrodynamic model can account for these observations.Translocation of a charged polymer through confined nanoenvironments is highly dependent on their geometrical parameters. Here, the authors investigate experimentally the translocation dynamics of DNA through conical nanopores and provide a quantitative model for the translocation into and out of confinement.

Biological Transport, DNA, Hydrodynamics, Kinetics, Nanopores
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Nat Commun
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
European Research Council (647144)
European Research Council (261101)