Controlling the motion of DNA in a nanochannel with transversal alternating electric voltages

Binquan Luan, Chao Wang, Ajay Royyuru, Gustavo Stolovitzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A nanofluidic channel, with a pair of perpendicularly aligned nanoelectrodes, is proposed to electrically control the motion of DNA molecules. Using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, we studied electrostatic responses of a charged DNA molecule in the nanochannel and investigated optimized operating conditions for controlling the DNA molecule. When the transversal electric field was periodically turned on and off, the DNA molecule was correspondingly immobilized on and released from the channel surface. Under simultaneously applied longitudinal biasing and transversal trapping electric fields, the DNA molecule moved forward in a 'ratchet'-like fashion. It is expected that achieving the controlled motion of DNA in the channel can advance studies and applications of a nanochannel-based sensor for analyzing DNA (e.g., DNA sequencing).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number265101
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jul 4 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA
  • nanochannel
  • ratcheting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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