Relationship between frequency and deflection angle in the DNA prism

Zhen Chen, Kevin D. Dorfman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The DNA prism is a modification of the standard pulsed-field electrophoresis protocol to provide a continuous separation, where the DNA are deflected at an angle that depends on their molecular weight. The standard switchback model for the DNA prism predicts a monotonic increase in the deflection angle as a function of the frequency for switching the field until a plateau regime is reached. However, experiments indicate that the deflection angle achieves a maximum value before decaying to a size-independent value at high frequencies. Using Brownian dynamics simulations, we show that the maximum in the deflection angle is related to the reorientation time for the DNA and the decay in deflection angle at high frequencies is due to inadequate stretching. The generic features of the dependence of the deflection angle on molecular weight, switching frequency, and electric field strength explain a number of experimental phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012723
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 28 2013


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