Polyelectrolyte Translocation through a Tortuous Nanopore

K Nagarajan and SB Chen, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 123, 9031-9037 (2019).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.9b07698

Although nanopores have shown tremendous promise for use in DNA sequencing, the rate of translocation through most pores studied previously is too rapid for the genetic information to be read accurately. In this study, dissipative particle dynamics simulations were employed to investigate the feasibility of using tortuous nanopores to control the rate of polyelectrolyte translocation. Unlike many previous studies, our simulation method incorporates the effects of hydrodynamic and electrostatic interactions and the spatial variation of electric field strength. The average translocation time, (tau), increases with the pore length and tortuosity but decreases as the pore width increases. For the longest pore investigated, the introduction of tortuosity results in (tau) increasing by as much as 187% as compared to a straight pore. The temporal variation of bond tension indicates that slower translocation in tortuous nanopores is caused by inhibition of tension propagation.

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