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Micromachines 2018, 9(4), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9040188

A Horizontal Magnetic Tweezers and Its Use for Studying Single DNA Molecules

1
Department of Physics and Vitreous State Laboratory, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064, USA
2
Biomedical Engineering Department and Vitreous State Laboratory, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064, USA
3
Department of Biology, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Technologies for Single Molecule Manipulation and Detection)
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Abstract

We report the development of a magnetic tweezers that can be used to micromanipulate single DNA molecules by applying picoNewton (pN)-scale forces in the horizontal plane. The resulting force–extension data from our experiments show high-resolution detection of changes in the DNA tether’s extension: ~0.5 pN in the force and <10 nm change in extension. We calibrate our instrument using multiple orthogonal techniques including the well-characterized DNA overstretching transition. We also quantify the repeatability of force and extension measurements, and present data on the behavior of the overstretching transition under varying salt conditions. The design and experimental protocols are described in detail, which should enable straightforward reproduction of the tweezers. View Full-Text
Keywords: single molecule micromanipulation; magnetic tweezers; DNA overstretching transition single molecule micromanipulation; magnetic tweezers; DNA overstretching transition
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Fabian, R., Jr.; Tyson, C.; Tuma, P.L.; Pegg, I.; Sarkar, A. A Horizontal Magnetic Tweezers and Its Use for Studying Single DNA Molecules. Micromachines 2018, 9, 188.

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