Polymer translocation through nano-pores in vibrating thin membranes

T Menais and S Mossa and A Buhot, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 6, 38558 (2016).

DOI: 10.1038/srep38558

Polymer translocation is a promising strategy for the next-generation DNA sequencing technologies. The use of biological and synthetic nano- pores, however, still suffers from serious drawbacks. In particular, the width of the membrane layer can accommodate several bases at the same time, making difficult accurate sequencing applications. More recently, the use of graphene membranes has paved the way to new sequencing capabilities, with the possibility to measure transverse currents, among other advances. The reduced thickness of these new membranes poses new questions on the effect of deformability and vibrations of the membrane on the translocation process, two features which are not taken into account in the well established theoretical frameworks. Here, we make a first step forward in this direction. We report numerical simulation work on a model system simple enough to allow gathering significant insight on the effect of these features on the average translocation time, with appropriate statistical significance. We have found that the interplay between thermal fluctuations and the deformability properties of the nano-pore play a crucial role in determining the process. We conclude by discussing new directions for further work.

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