The development of solid-state nanopores, inspired by their biological counterparts, shows great potential for the study of single macromolecules. Applications such as DNA sequencing and the exploration of protein folding require control of the dynamics of the molecule's interaction with the pore, but DNA capture by a solid-state nanopore is not well understood. By recapturing individual molecules soon after they pass through a nanopore, we reveal the mechanism by which double-stranded DNA enters the pore. The observed recapture rates and times agree with solutions of a drift-diffusion model. Electric forces draw DNA to the pore over micrometer-scale distances, and upon arrival at the pore, molecules begin translocation almost immediately. Repeated translocation of the same molecule improves measurement accuracy, offers a way to probe the chemical transformations and internal dynamics of macromolecules on sub-millisecond time and sub-micrometre length scales, and demonstrates the ability to trap, study and manipulate individual macromolecules in solution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering