Arrays of Individual DNA Molecules on Nanopatterned Substrates

Roland Hager, Alma Halilovic, Jonathan R. Burns, Friedrich Schäffler, Stefan Howorka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Arrays of individual molecules can combine the advantages of microarrays and single-molecule studies. They miniaturize assays to reduce sample and reagent consumption and increase throughput, and additionally uncover static and dynamic heterogeneity usually masked in molecular ensembles. However, realizing single-DNA arrays must tackle the challenge of capturing structurally highly dynamic strands onto defined substrate positions. Here, we create single-molecule arrays by electrostatically adhering single-stranded DNA of gene-like length onto positively charged carbon nanoislands. The nanosites are so small that only one molecule can bind per island. Undesired adsorption of DNA to the surrounding non-target areas is prevented via a surface-passivating film. Of further relevance, the DNA arrays are of tunable dimensions, and fabricated on optically transparent substrates that enable singe-molecule detection with fluorescence microscopy. The arrays are hence compatible with a wide range of bioanalytical, biophysical, and cell biological studies where individual DNA strands are either examined in isolation, or interact with other molecules or cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42075
Pages (from-to)42075
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Microscopy, Fluorescence/methods
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis/methods
  • Single Molecule Imaging/methods


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