Inserting and Manipulating DNA in a Nanopore with Optical Tweezers

  • U. F. Keyser
  • J. van der Does
  • C. Dekker
  • N. H. Dekker
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 544)


The translocation of small molecules and polymers is an integral process for the functioning of living cells. Many of the basic physical, chemical, and biological interactions have not yet been studied because they are not directly experimentally accessible. We have shown that a combination of optical tweezers, single solid-state nanopores, and electrophysiological ionic current detection enable deeper insight into the behavior of polymers in confinement. Here we describe the experimental procedures that are necessary to manipulate single biopolymers in a single nanopore, not only by electrical fields, but also through mechanical forces using optical tweezers.

Key words

Nanopore Optical tweezers DNA translocation Biopolymers Polymer transport Single-molecule sensors Single-channel recording 



We thank Peter Veenhuizen, Stijn van Dorp, Bernard Koeleman, Ya-Hui Chen, and Suzanne Hage for making the biotinylated lambda-DNA, and Bernadette Quinn for help with electrochemical questions. Ralph Smeets, Diego Krapf, and Meng-Yue Wu fabricated the nanopores. Stijn van Dorp and Bernard Koeleman are especially acknowledged for obtaining some of the data presented here. Financial support of FOM and NWO is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. F. Keyser
    • 1
  • J. van der Does
    • 2
  • C. Dekker
    • 2
  • N. H. Dekker
    • 2
  1. 1.Cavendish Laboratory, Biological and Soft SystemsUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Kavli Institute of NanoscienceDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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