Brownian Motion Paving the Way for Molecular Translocation in Nanopores

Won Yong Lee, Chenyu Wen, Ngan Hoang Pham, Mohammad Hadi Khaksaran, Sang Kwon Lee, Shi Li Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Tracing fast nanopore-translocating analytes requires a high-frequency measurement system that warrants a temporal resolution better than 1 µs. This constraint may practically shift the challenge from increasing the sampling bandwidth to dealing with the rapidly growing noise with frequencies typically above 10 kHz, potentially making it still uncertain if all translocation events are unambiguously captured. Here, a numerical simulation model is presented as an alternative to discern translocation events with different experimental settings including pore dimension, bias voltage, the charge state of the analyte, salt concentration, and electrolyte viscosity. The model allows for simultaneous analysis of forces exerting on a large analyte cohort along their individual trajectories; these forces are responsible for the analyte movement leading eventually to the nanopore translocation. Through tracing the analyte trajectories, the Brownian force is found to dominate the analyte movement in electrolytes until the last moment at which the electroosmotic force determines the final translocation act. The mean dwell time of analytes mimicking streptavidin decreases from ≈6 to ≈1 µs with increasing the bias voltage from ±100 to ±500 mV. The simulated translocation events qualitatively agree with the experimental data with streptavidin. The simulation model is also helpful for the design of new solid-state nanopore sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Small Methods published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • analyte trajectory
  • Brownian motion
  • electro-osmotic flow
  • molecular translocation
  • numerical simulation
  • solid-state nanopore


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