Authors: P.J. Shrewsbury, S.J. Muller and D. Liepmann
Affilation: University of California-Berkeley, United States
Pages: 578 - 580
Keywords: MEMS, hydrodynamics, DNA
Advances in silicon fabrication technology enable the reproduction of laboratory apparatus, and theoretically biochemical processes, on a microscale. The implementation of this technology, however, necessitates additional study as fluid dynamics change at this scale and, consequently, the behavior of biological molecules within these devices may also change. To investigate the extent this occurs, epifluorescence microscopy was used to observe the flow of DNA molecules through microchannels. The molecular conformation of the DNA under flow is extremely sensitive to 1) the initial conformation of the DNA as it enters the flow, 2) the position of the DNA molecule in the channel, and 3) the time at which the image was taken due to the vorticity-induced tumbling of the molecule. From these experiments, a non-monotonic relationship appears to exist between flow rate and DNA length. Further characterization of this relationship is underway.