Research Papers

Effects of Dissimilar Electrode Materials and Electrode Position on DNA Motion During Electrophoresis

[+] Author and Article Information
Regis A. David, Larry L. Howell

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602

Brian D. Jensen1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602bdjensen@byu.edu

Justin L. Black, Sandra H. Burnett

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602


Corresponding author.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 2(2), 021014 (May 17, 2011) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003600 History: Received January 07, 2011; Revised January 27, 2011; Published May 17, 2011; Online May 17, 2011

Electrophoretic systems commonly use metal electrodes in their construction. This paper explores and reports the differences in the electrophoretic motion of DNA (decomposition voltage, electrical field, etc.) when one electrode is constructed from a semiconductor, silicon, rather than metal. Experimental VI (voltage-current) curves for different electrode configurations (using steel and silicon) are presented. Experimental results are used to update and validate the mathematical model to reflect the differences in material selection. In addition, the model predicts large curved-field motion for DNA motion. The model helps to quantify the effect of parameters on DNA motion in biological microelectromechanical systems in order to improve device designs and protocols.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Image of the MEMS lance assembly (10×)

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Figure 2

Ohm’s law in electrolyte conductors (V0 is the decomposition voltage)

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Figure 3

A schematic representation of experimental setup (dimensions are not to scale)

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Figure 4

A schematic representation for the applied potential between two electrodes

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Figure 5

Decomposition voltage: effects of voltage on current in 120 mg agarose/40 ml TAE

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Figure 6

DNA ladder experiment (St(−)St(+) in 9×7.5 cm2 box, 40 min at 60 V)

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Figure 7

Comparison of DNA trajectory lines (St(−)St(+) in 9×7.5 cm2 box, 60 min at 10 V)

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Figure 8

St(−)St(−)St(+) electrodes in a 15.8×14 cm2 box for 120 min at 10 V

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Figure 9

Comparison of DNA trajectory lines, 120 min at 5 V

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Figure 10

Linear dependence between modeled and experimental results from Table 2



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