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Autonomous and Active Transport Operated by an Entropic DNA Piston.

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

We present a synthetic nanoscale piston that uses chemical energy to perform molecular transport against an applied bias. Such a device comprises a 13 by 5 nm protein cylinder, embedded in a biological membrane enclosing a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) rod. Hybridization with DNA cargo rigidifies the rod, allowing for transport of a selected DNA molecule across the nanopore. A strand displacement reaction from ssDNA fuel on the other side of the membrane then liberates the DNA cargo back into solution and regenerates the initial configuration. The entropic penalty of ssDNA confinement inside the nanopore drives DNA transport regardless of the applied bias. Multiple automated and reciprocating cycles are observed, in which the DNA piston moves through the 10 nm length of the nanopore. In every cycle, a single DNA molecule is transported across the nanopore against an external bias force, which is the hallmark of biological transporters.
Journal: Nano Letters
ISSN: 1530-6984
Issue: 1
Volume: 21
Pages: 762 - 768
Publication year:2021
Keywords:Multidisciplinary chemistry, Physical chemistry, Materials science, Applied physics, Physics of solids, fluids and plasmas