High-Throughput Separation of Long DNA in Deterministic Lateral Displacement Arrays

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Length-based separation of DNA remains as relevant today as when gel electrophoresis was introduced almost 100 years ago. While new, long-read genomics technologies have revolutionised accessibility to powerful genomic data, the preparation of samples has not proceeded at the same pace, with sample preparation often constituting a considerable bottleneck, both in time and difficulty. Microfluidics holds great potential for automated, sample-to-answer analysis via the integration of preparatory and analytical steps, but for this to be fully realised, more versatile, powerful and integrable unit operations, such as separation, are essential. We demonstrate the displacement and separation of DNA with a throughput that is one to five orders of magnitude greater than other microfluidic techniques. Using a device with a small footprint (23 mm × 0.5 mm), and with feature sizes in the micrometre range, it is considerably easier to fabricate than parallelized nano-array-based approaches. We show the separation of 48.5 kbp and 166 kbp DNA strands achieving a significantly improved throughput of 760 ng/h, compared to previous work and the separation of low concentrations of 48.5 kbp DNA molecules from a massive background of sub 10 kbp fragments. We show that the extension of DNA molecules at high flow velocities, generally believed to make the length-based separation of long DNA difficult, does not place the ultimate limitation on our method. Instead, we explore the effects of polymer rotations and intermolecular interactions at extremely high DNA concentrations and postulate that these may have both negative and positive influences on the separation depending on the detailed experimental conditions.

Antal sidor16
StatusPublished - 2022 okt.

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© 2022 by the authors.

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  • Biofysik


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