Subdiffusive molecular motion in nanochannels observed by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy

Analytical Chemistry, 2010, 82 (3), pages 997-1005

Ilaria De Santo, Filippo Causa and Paolo A. Netti
Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Biomaterials (CRIB), University Federico II, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125, Naples, Italy, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Via Morego, 30 Genoa, Italy, and Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University Magna Graecia, Germaneto, 88100, Catanzaro, Italy.

The influence of confinement on biomolecule motion in glass channels of nanometric height has been investigated with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). We measured intrachannel molecule diffusion time and concentration based on a single-component diffusion model as a function of molecule size to channel height (rg/h). Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) of 20 kDa and dextran of 40 kDa showed a reduction of their diffusion coefficients of almost 1 order of magnitude when nanochannel height approached probe diameter, whereas rhodamine 6G (Rh6G) was shown to be almost unaffected from confinement. Subdiffusive motion has been proven for flexible molecules in nanochannels, and deviations toward a square root dependence of mobility with time for confinement up to molecule size rg/h 0.5 were registered. Diffusion coefficient time dependence has been evaluated and described with a model that accounts for diffusion time increase due to molecule rearrangements related to molecule flexibility and surface interactions dynamics. The evaluation of the subdiffusive mode and the key parameters extracted at the single-molecule level of partitioning, intrachannel diffusion time, desorption time, and binding probability at surfaces can be exploited for the engineering of bioanalytic nanodevices.

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