Transport and Confinement of DNA within Polymer nano-tubes

Ana Jofre, Rani Kishore, Kris Helmerson


We have recently developed a technique for creating rigid cross-linked polymer nano-tube structures, whose inner diameter are less than 50nm.  Such structures can be used to confine long polymers in order to study one-dimensional transport properties.  A long polymer molecule is said to be confined into one-dimension if the diameter of the confining tube is smaller than the molecule’s radius of gyration, in which case the polymer molecule will be extended.  We are currently studying the transport properties of DNA confined within these tubes.  Lambda DNA, intercalated with YOYO-1 dye, is driven into the nano-tube by means of an applied electric field, and is observed through fluorescence microscopy.  Details of our experimental method, observation of the DNA confined within the nano-tube, as well as progress towards measurements of the diffusion time will be reported.