Melting or thermal denaturation of a DNA molecule and the different bubble-rich, premelting DNA states that serve as a precursor for DNA thermal denaturation are vital events in DNA thermophysics. In this study, we employ cantilever-based sensing to firstly pinpoint the occurrence of DNA melting and identify the temperature Tm characterizing the melting. Very importantly, this sensing is carried out with an extremely small volume (∼picoliters) of DNA sample with the cantilever demonstrating an extremely high sensitivity on the order of corresponding to pico-Joules of energy input. Secondly, this same large sensitivity of the cantilever is used to quantify the hitherto unknown thermophysical properties of the bubble-rich DNA premelting states. In fact, for both the melting and premelting states, the cantilever provides a framework to calculate the specific heat capacity and the storage and loss moduli of the cantilever-DNA-solution system, thereby establishing a platform for quantifying DNAs' thermo-mechanical behavior.
Thermomechanical responses of microfluidic cantilever capture DNA melting and properties of DNA premelting states using picoliters of DNA solution
Keren Jiang, Faheem Khan, Javix Thomas, Parth Rakesh Desai, Arindam Phani, Siddhartha Das, Thomas Thundat; Thermomechanical responses of microfluidic cantilever capture DNA melting and properties of DNA premelting states using picoliters of DNA solution. Appl. Phys. Lett. 29 April 2019; 114 (17): 173703. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5092333
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