257368 Rational Design of DNA Electrophoresis Devices and the Nanofence Array

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 2:10 PM
406 (Convention Center )
Kevin D. Dorfman, Daniel W. Olson and Sung-Gyu Park, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

One of the most attractive features of microfabricated separation devices is the ability to precisely define the separation medium. Given such power, the question then becomes what to fabricate. In this context, we have been working on dc electrophoretic separations of long DNA molecules in arrays of cylindrical microposts and nanoposts. Within these design constraints, the key open question is the placement of the posts. We have developed a deep understanding of the dynamics of DNA moving through arrays of obstacles, using a combination of separation experiments, single-molecule videomicroscopy, Brownian dynamics simulations and continuous-time random walk modeling. Our analysis ultimately led to the design of the so-called "nanofence" array, which features tightly spaced posts with large, open distances between them. In this presentation, I will show the logical progression that led to the design of this new type of post array, the high performance we achieved with our new device, and the surprising microscale dynamics that explain the separations in the nanofence array.

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