Soft Matter Seminar: DNA Descending a Nanofluidic Staircase

Friday, October 18, 2013 – 2:00pm
Regents 351
Elizabeth A. Strychalski
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Imagine a long, floppy spring – such as a Slinky – uncoiling and recoiling as it walks down a flight of stairs. What would a nanoscale analog of this interesting system be, how could we make it, what could we learn from it, and how might it be useful? In this seminar, I will describe a nanofluidic staircase that provides structural control over the transport of confined DNA and enables quantitative measurements of DNA size across the regimes of strong and moderate slitlike confinement. Our results form the scientific and technological basis of innovative nanofluidic methods for biopolymer analysis.

Dr. Elizabeth A. Strychalski received a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University. She received a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship Award at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where she is now a staff scientist. Dr. Strychalski develops nanofluidic and microfluidic systems for fundamental studies and practical applications involving biomolecular and cellular manipulation and characterization, including synthetic biology, polymer physics, analytical chemistry, and forensic analysis.

Host: Daniel Blair