Single-file electrophoretic transport and counting of individual DNA molecules in surfactant nanotubes
Journal article, 2005
We demonstrate a complete nanotube electrophoresis system (nanotube radii in the range of 50 to 150 nm) based on lipid membranes, comprising DNA injection, single-molecule transport, and single-molecule detection. Using gel-capped electrodes, electrophoretic single-file transport of fluorescently labeled dsDNA molecules is observed inside nanotubes. The strong confinement to a channel of molecular dimensions ensures a detection efficiency close to unity and identification of DNA size from its linear relation to the integrated peak intensity. In addition to constituting a nanotechnological device for identification and quantification of single macromolecules or biopolymers, this system provides a method to study their conformational dynamics, reaction kinetics, and transport in cell-like environments.