Belkin, Maxim; Chao, Shu-Han; Jonsson, Magnus P.; Dekker, Cees; Aksimentiev, Aleksei
Plasmonic Nanopores for Trapping, Controlling Displacement, and Sequencing of DNA
ACS NANO, 9:10598-10611, NOV 2015

With the aim of developing a DNA sequencing methodology, we theoretically examine the feasibility of using nanoplasmonics to control the translocation of a DNA molecule through a solid-state nanopore and to read off sequence information using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we show that high-intensity optical hot spots produced by a metallic nanostructure can arrest DNA translocation through a solid-state nanopore, thus providing a physical knob for controlling the DNA speed. Switching the plasmonic field on and off can displace the DNA molecule in discrete steps, sequentially exposing neighboring fragments of a DNA molecule to the pore as well as to the plasmonic hot spot. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering from the exposed DNA fragments contains information about their nucleotide composition, possibly allowing the identification of the nucleotide sequence of a DNA molecule transported through the hot spot. The principles of plasmonic nanopore sequencing can be extended to detection of DNA modifications and RNA characterization.


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