High-bandwidth detection of short DNA in nanopipettes
Glass or quartz nanopipettes have found increasing use as tools for studying the biophysical properties of DNA and proteins, and as sensor devices. The ease of fabrication, favourable wetting properties and low capacitance are some of the inherent advantages, for example compared to more conventional, silicon-based nanopore chips. Recently, we have demonstrated high-bandwidth detection of double-stranded (ds) DNA with microsecond time resolution in nanopipettes, using custom-designed electronics. The electronics design has now been refined to include more sophisticated control features, such as integrated bias reversal and other features. Here, we exploit these capabilities and probe the translocation of short dsDNA in the 100 bp range, in different electrolytes. Single-stranded (ss) DNA of similar length are in use as capture probes, so label-free detection of their ds counterparts could therefore be of relevance in disease diagnostics.