In this paper, we evaluate the magnitude of the electrical signals produced by DNA translocation through a 1nm diameter nanopore in a capacitor membrane with a numerical multi-scale approach, and assess the possibility of resolving individual nucleotides as well as their types in the absence of conformational disorder. We show that the maximum recorded voltage caused by the DNA translocation is about 35mV, while the maximum voltage signal due to the DNA backbone is about 30mV, and the maximum voltage of a DNA base is about 8mV. Signals from individual nucleotides can be identified in the recorded voltage traces, suggesting a 1nm diameter pore in a capacitor can be used to accurately count the number of nucleotides in a DNA strand. Furthermore, we study the effect of a single base substitution on the voltage trace, and calculate the differences among the voltage traces due to a single base mutation for the sequences C3AC7, C3CC 7, C3GC7 and C3TC7. The calculated voltage differences are in the 5-10mV range. The calculated maximum voltage caused by the translocation of individual bases varies from 2 to 9mV, which is experimentally detectable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number014
Pages (from-to)3160-3165
Number of pages6
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 14 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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