A single molecule DNA flow stretching microscope for undergraduates
The design of a simple, safe, and inexpensive single molecule flow stretching instrument is presented. The instrument uses a low cost upright microscope coupled to a webcam for imaging single DNA molecules that are tethered in an easy to construct microfluidic flow cell. The system requires no special vibration isolation and is capable of measuring DNA replication at the single molecule level. We discuss two laboratory experiments suitable for advanced undergraduates using our microscope.