Thursday, July 7, 2016

Characterisation of optically driven microstructures for manipulating single DNA molecules under a fluorescence microscope

Kyohei Terao; Chihiro Masuda; Ryo Inukai; Murat Gel; Hidehiro Oana; Masao Washizu; Takaaki Suzuki; Hidekuni Takao; Fusao Shimokawa; Fumikazu Oohira

Optical tweezers are powerful tools for manipulating single DNA molecules using fluorescence microscopy, particularly in nanotechnology-based DNA analysis. We previously proposed a manipulation technique using microstructures driven by optical tweezers that allows the handling of single giant DNA molecules of millimetre length that cannot be manipulated by conventional techniques. To further develop this technique, the authors characterised the microstructures quantitatively from the view point of fabrication and efficiency of DNA manipulation under a fluorescence microscope. The success rate and precision of the fabrications were evaluated. The results indicate that the microstructures are obtained in an aqueous solution with a precision ∼50 nm at concentrations in the order of 106 particles/ml. The visibility of these microstructures under a fluorescence microscope was also characterised, along with the elucidation of the fabrication parameters needed to fine tune visibility. Manipulating yeast chromosomal DNA molecules with the microstructures illustrated the relationship between the efficiency of manipulation and the geometrical shape of the microstructure. This report provides the guidelines for designing microstructures used in single DNA molecule analysis based on on-site DNA manipulation, and is expected to broaden the applications of this technique in the future.

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