A stochastic model for DNA translocation through an electropore

Miao Yu, Wenchang Tan, Hao Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A 1D Fokker-Planck simulation of DNA translocation through an electropore under finite pulses is presented. This study is motivated by applications relevant to DNA electrotransfer into biological cells via electroporation. The results review important insights. The translocation may occur on two disparate time scales, the electrophoretic time (~ ms), and the diffusive time (~ s), depending on the pulse length. Furthermore, a power-law correlation is observed, F-PST ~ (Vmtp)a/Nb, where F-PST is the final probability of successful translocation, Vm is the transmembrane potential, tp is the pulse length, and N is the DNA length in segments. The values for a and b are close to 1 and 1.5, respectively. The simulated results are compared with previous data to interpret the trends. In particular, the diffusive time scale is used to explain the frequency dependence observed in electroporation experiments with uni- and bi-polar pulse trains. The predictions from the current model can be harnessed to help design experiments for the further understanding and quantification of DNA electrotransfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2494-2501
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


  • DNA electrotransfer
  • Diffusion
  • Electrophoresis
  • Electroporation
  • Fokker-Planck equation
  • Translocation

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