Transport of Ions, DNA Polymers, and Microtubules in the Nanofluidic Regime

D. Stein, MGL van den Heuvel, C. Dekker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific

2 Citations (Scopus)


Nanofluidic devices provide an arena for interesting science and new technological applications. We review experimental work that illustrates qualitative differences in the behavior of ions, polymers, and molecular motors at the nanoscale as compared with their behavior at macroscopic scales. Ionic transport is governed by the surface charge density inside a nanofluidic device and the overlap of Debye screening layers becomes significant. Furthermore, pressure-driven fluid flows entrain significant ionic streaming currents, and this electrokinetic effect has been used to probe the phenomenon of surface charge inversion and to harness mechanical work and convert it into electrical power. Polymers like DNA must pay an entropic penalty under nanofluidic confinement, which governs its configurational statistics, and in turn influences DNA's transport characteristics in pressure-driven fluid flows and in more complex electrokinetic flows driven by electric fields. Finally, the molecular motor kinesin has been incorporated into fluidic devices in order to drive the motion of microtubules. Within a network of fluidic channels, electric fields can be applied to steer and sort kinesin-driven microtubules, and to probe the mechanical bending of single microtubules.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNanofluidics, 2nd Edition
EditorsJoshua Edel, Aleksandar Ivanov, MinJun Kim
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic) 978-1-84973-523-0
ISBN (Print) 978-1-84973-404-2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameRSC Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
ISSN (Print)17577136
ISSN (Electronic)17577144


Dive into the research topics of 'Transport of Ions, DNA Polymers, and Microtubules in the Nanofluidic Regime'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this