“Biodrop” evaporation and ring-stain deposits: The significance of DNA length

Alexandros Askounis, Yasuyuki Takata, Khellil Sefiane, Vasileios Koutsos, Martin E. R. Shanahan

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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Small sessile drops of water containing either long or short strands of DNA (“biodrops”) were deposited on silicon substrates and allowed to evaporate. Initially, the triple line (TL) of both types of droplet remained pinned but later receded. The TL recession mode continued at constant speed until almost the end of drop lifetime for the biodrops with short DNA strands, whereas those containing long DNA strands entered a regime of significantly lower TL recession. We propose a tentative explanation of our observations based on free energy barriers to unpinning and increases in the viscosity of the base liquid due to the presence of DNA molecules. In addition, the structure of DNA deposits after evaporation was investigated by AFM. DNA self-assembly in a series of perpendicular and parallel orientations was observed near the contact line for the long-strand DNA, while, with the short-stranded DNA, smoother ring-stains with some nanostructuring but no striations were evident. At the interior of the deposits, dendritic and faceted crystals were formed from short and long strands, respectively, due to diffusion and nucleation limited processes, respectively. We suggest that the above results related to the biodrop drying and nanostructuring are indicative of the importance of DNA length, i.e., longer DNA chains consisting of linearly bonded shorter, rod-like DNA strands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4361-4369
Number of pages9
Issue number17
Early online date13 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

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