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Issue 4, 2010
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Deciphering ionic current signatures of DNA transport through a nanopore

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Abstract

Within just a decade from the pioneering work demonstrating the utility of nanopores for molecular sensing, nanopores have emerged as versatile systems for single-molecule manipulation and analysis. In a typical setup, a gradient of the electrostatic potential captures charged solutes from the solution and forces them to move through a single nanopore, across an otherwise impermeable membrane. The ionic current blockades resulting from the presence of a solute in a nanopore can reveal the type of the solute, for example, the nucleotide makeup of a DNA strand. Despite great success, the microscopic mechanisms underlying the functionality of such stochastic sensors remain largely unknown, as it is not currently possible to characterize the microscopic conformations of single biomolecules directly in a nanopore and thereby unequivocally establish the causal relationship between the observables and the microscopic events. Such a relationship can be determined using molecular dynamics—a computational method that can accurately predict the time evolution of a molecular system starting from a given microscopic state. This article describes recent applications of this method to the process of DNA transport through biological and synthetic nanopores.

Graphical abstract: Deciphering ionic current signatures of DNA transport through a nanopore

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Sep 2009, accepted on 17 Nov 2009 and first published on 02 Feb 2010


Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/B9NR00275H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2010,2, 468-483
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    Deciphering ionic current signatures of DNA transport through a nanopore

    A. Aksimentiev, Nanoscale, 2010, 2, 468
    DOI: 10.1039/B9NR00275H

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