Dynamics of long hyaluronic acid chains through conical nanochannels for characterizing enzyme reactions in confined spaces†
This research reports the transport behaviors of long flexible polymers (hyaluronic acid) through long conical track-etched nanochannels with and without grafted enzymes. The impacts of the channel diameter and the polymer regimes in solution (dilute and semi-dilute) have been investigated. Without enzymes, the experimental results can be well explained by the analytical models of the scaling law of de Gennes. Then, the corresponding enzymes (hyaluronidase) were grafted inside the channel. When enzymes are located at the base side, polymers get degraded at the entrance and the degraded products are detected. When enzymes are grafted at the tip side, the extension of translocation duration due to the binding of substrate–enzyme is observed. This is for the first time that the enzymatic degradation reactions are characterized in situ at the single molecule level by nanopore technology.