How to determine local stretching and tension in a flow-stretched DNA molecule

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    We determine the nonuniform stretching of and tension in amega base pairs-long fragment of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that is flow stretched in a nanofluidic chip. We use no markers, do not know the contour length of the DNA, and do not have the full DNA molecule inside our field of view. Instead, we analyze the transverse thermal motion of the DNA. Tension at the center of the DNA adds up to 16 pN, giving almost fully stretched DNA. This method was devised for optical mapping of DNA, specifically, DNA denaturation patterns. It may be useful also for other studies, e.g., DNA-protein interactions, specifically, their tension dependence. Generally, wherever long strands of DNA—e.g., native DNA extracted from human cells or bacteria—must be stretched with ease for inspection, this method applies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number042405
    JournalPhysical Review E
    Issue number4
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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    ©2016 American Physical Society

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