High-Fidelity Capture, Threading, and Infinite-Depth Sequencing of Single DNA Molecules with a Double-Nanopore System

Adnan Choudhary, Himanshu Joshi, Han-Yi Chou, Kumar Sarthak, James Wilson, Christopher Maffeo, Aleksei Aksimentiev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanopore sequencing of nucleic acids has an illustrious history of innovations that eventually made commercial nanopore sequencing possible. Nevertheless, the present nanopore sequencing technology leaves much room for improvement, especially with respect to accuracy of raw reads and detection of nucleotide modifications. Double-nanopore sequencing-an approach where a DNA molecule is pulled back and forth by a tug-of-war of two nanopores-could potentially improve single-molecule read accuracy and modification detection by offering multiple reads of the same DNA fragment. One principle difficulty in realizing such a technology is threading single-stranded DNA through both nanopores. Here, we describe and demonstrate through simulations a nanofluidic system for loading and threading DNA strands through a double-nanopore setup with nearly 100% fidelity. The high-efficiency loading is realized by using hourglass-shaped side channels that not only deliver the molecules to the nanopore but also retain molecules that missed the nanopore at the first passage to attempt the nanopore capture again. The second nanopore capture is facilitated by an orthogonal microfluidic flow that unravels the molecule captured by the first nanopore and delivers it to the capture volume of the second nanopore. We demonstrate the potential utility of our double-nanopore system for DNA sequencing by simulating repeat back-and-forth motion-flossing-of a DNA strand through the double-nanopore system. We show that repeat exposure of the same DNA fragments to the nanopore sensing volume considerably increases accuracy of the nucleotide sequence determination and that correlated displacement of ssDNA through the two nanopores may facilitate recognition of homopolymer fragments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15566-15576
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 24 2020


  • Capture
  • DNA sequencing
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Nanofluidics
  • Nanopore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Materials Science


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