Nanofabricated quartz cylinders for angular trapping: DNA supercoiling torque detection


We designed and created nanofabricated quartz cylinders well suited for torque application and detection in an angular optical trap. We made the cylinder axis perpendicular to the extraordinary axis of the quartz crystal and chemically functionalized only one end of each cylinder for attachment to a DNA molecule. We directly measured the torque on a single DNA molecule as it underwent a phase transition from B-form to supercoiled P-form.

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Figure 1: Illustration of the angular optical trapping configuration.
Figure 2: Nanofabrication of quartz cylinders.
Figure 3: Measurements during DNA supercoiling.


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We thank B. Brower-Toland and L. Bai for help with DNA template preparation, C.K. Ober, U. Wiesner, H. Ow and A. La Porta for discussions on particle design considerations, and members of the Wang lab for helpful discussions and critical reading of the manuscript. This work was performed in part at the Cornell NanoScale Facility, a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, which is supported by the US National Science Foundation (grant ECS 03-35765). This work was supported by the Keck Foundation to M.D.W. and a Molecular Biophysics Training Grant to Cornell University.

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Correspondence to Michelle D Wang.

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Deufel, C., Forth, S., Simmons, C. et al. Nanofabricated quartz cylinders for angular trapping: DNA supercoiling torque detection. Nat Methods 4, 223–225 (2007).

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