- Amplitude and frequency spectra of thermal fluctuations of a translocating RNA molecule
- Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 37
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam (ITFA)
Using a combination of theory and computer simulations, we study the translocation of an RNA molecule, pulled through a solid-state nanopore by an optical tweezer, as a method for determining its secondary structure. The resolution with which the elements of the secondary structure can be determined is limited by thermal fluctuations. We present a detailed study of these thermal fluctuations, including the frequency spectrum, and show that these rule out single-nucleotide resolution under the experimental conditions which we simulated. Two possible ways to improve this resolution are strongly stretching the RNA with a back-pulling voltage across the membrane, and stiffening the translocated part of the RNA by biochemical means.
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