DNA analysis by single molecule stretching in nanofluidic biochips
Stretching single DNA molecules by confinement in nanofluidic channels has attracted a great interest during the last few years as a DNA analysis tool.
We have designed and fabricated a sealed micro/nanofluidic device for DNA stretching applications, based on the use of the high throughput NanoImprint Lithography (NIL) technology combined with a conventional anodic bonding of the silicon base and Pyrex cover. Using this chip, we have performed single molecule imaging on a bench-top fluorescent microscope system. Lambda phage DNA was used as a model sample to characterize the chip. Single molecules of λ-DNA stained with the fluorescent dye YOYO-1 were stretched in the nanochannel array and the experimental results were analysed to determine the extension factor of the DNA in the chip and the geometrical average of the nanochannel inner diameter. The determination of the extension ratio of the chip provides a method to determining DNA size. The results of this work prove that the developed fabrication process is a good alternative for the fabrication of single molecule DNA biochips and it allows developing a variety of innovative bio/chemical sensors based on single-molecule DNA sequencing devices.