Physics Seminar: Nanofluidic Systems for DNA Sensing, Manipulation and Confinement

Walter Reisner '00

My research program, straddling the fields of nanotechnology and soft-matter/biophysics, is devoted to developing the field of nanofluidics.  Nanofluidic devices are networks of fluid-filled channels on a chip with dimensions on order of 1-100 nm.   Such devices have length-scales on order of critical molecular parameters (e.g. polymer gyration radius, persistence length) and can directly analyze and manipulate single macromolecules.   Such single-molecule devices have the ability to perform genomic analysis without requiring molecular amplification, so that analysis could ultimately be performed on a single molecule, single-cell, basis.  Hand in hand with application goals, elucidating the behavior of confined macromolecules leads to new device concepts and more effective design.  Finally, cells and viruses are inherently confined environments.   ‘Artificial’ nanofluidic structures can probe confinement over a wide-parameter space and place results from in vivo experiments in a global, physical context.   Here I will present an overview of my group’s recent work on three recent problems:  (1) Non-equilibrium dynamics of DNA in confined environments, (2)“DNA-in-a-box” experiments that probe how entropy can potentially help organize cellular environments and (3) active logic dual solid-state nanopore devices for controlled translocation of DNA and single-molecule re-sensing.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 4:10pm to 5:30pm

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