Non-markovian transport of DNA in microfluidic post arrays

Nicolas Minc, Jean Louis Viovy, Kevin D. Dorfman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We present an analytically solvable model for the transport of long DNA through microfluidic arrays of posts. The motion is a repetitive three-part cycle: (i) collision with the post and extension of the arms; (ii) rope-over-pulley post disengagement; and (iii) a random period of uniform translation before the next collision. This cycle, inspired by geometration, is a nonseparable (Scher-Lax) continuous-time random walk on a lattice defined by the posts. Upon adopting a simple model for the transition probability density on the lattice, we analytically compute the mean DNA velocity and dispersivity in the long-time limit without any adjustable parameters. The results compare favorably with the limited amount of experimental data on separations in self-assembled arrays of magnetic beads. The Scher-Lax formalism provides a template for incorporating more sophisticated microscale models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number198105
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 20 2005

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