Researchers have found an extremely simple way of untangling DNA by dragging a droplet of water mixed with DNA on a polymer treated glass slide.
Even before the discovery of DNA researchers have tried to untangle DNA so that they can study it more effectively under a raman or optical microscope. Researchers at KU Leuven institute in Belgium have succeeded where others have failed by dragging a water droplet mixed with DNA across a glass plate covered with a sticky polymer called Zeonex.
The water droplet acts as a ball and is dragged across the plate using a pipette tip. The DNA sticks to the polymer slide allowing to be studied under a microscope. This method is already proving to be useful in DNA mapping where long strands are essential to differentiate between viral or bacterial DNA. Combined with fluorescence microscopy, it helps to quickly identify characteristics. In the paper published in ACS Nano, viral DNA whose DNA length was already known was confirm using this method. Its simplicity could mean that it could soon replace many redundant tests in clinical labs.
Source: KU Leuven