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Particle-by-Particle Charge Analysis of DNA-Modified Nanoparticles Using Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensing

Emma L. C. J. Blundell, Robert Vogel and Mark Platt

Langmuir, 2016, 32 (4), pp 1082–1090

Resistive pulse sensors, RPS, are allowing the transport mechanism of molecules, proteins and even nanoparticles to be characterized as they traverse pores. Previous work using RPS has shown that the size, concentration and zeta potential of the analyte can be measured. Here we use tunable resistive pulse sensing (TRPS) which utilizes a tunable pore to monitor the translocation times of nanoparticles with DNA modified surfaces. We start by demonstrating that the translocation times of particles can be used to infer the zeta potential of known standards and then apply the method to measure the change in zeta potential of DNA modified particles. By measuring the translocation times of DNA modified nanoparticles as a function of packing density, length, structure, and hybridization time, we observe a clear difference in zeta potential using both mean values and population distributions as a function of the DNA structure. We demonstrate the ability to resolve the signals for ssDNA, dsDNA, small changes in base length for nucleotides between 15 and 40 bases long, and even the discrimination between partial and fully complementary target sequences. Such a method has potential and applications in sensors for the monitoring of nanoparticles in both medical and environmental samples. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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