DNA conformation on surfaces measured by flourescence self-interference

Lev Moiseev, M. Selim Ünlü, Anna K. Swan, Bennett B. Goldberg, Charles R. Cantor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The conformation of DNA molecules tethered to the surface of a microarray may significantly affect the efficiency of hybridization. Although a number of methods have been applied to determine the structure of the DNA layer, they are not very sensitive to variations in the shape of DNA molecules. Here we describe the application of an interferometric technique called spectral self-interference fluorescence microscopy to the precise measurement of the average location of a fluorescent label in a DNA layer relative to the surface and thus determine specific information on the conformation of the surface-bound DNA molecules. Using spectral self-interference fluorescence microscopy, we have estimated the shape of coiled single-stranded DNA, the average tilt of double-stranded DNA of different lengths, and the amount of hybridization. The data provide important proofs of concept for the capabilities of novel optical surface analytical methods of the molecular disposition of DNA on surfaces. The determination of DNA conformations on surfaces and hybridization behavior provide information required to move DNA interfacial applications forward and thus impact emerging clinical and biotechnological fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2623-2628
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 21 2006


  • Hybridization
  • Microarray
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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