Understanding the mechanism of DNA extension in nanochannels is necessary for interpretation of experiments in nanofluidic channel devices that have been conducted recently with both linear and ring chains. The present article reviews the situation with linear chains and analyses the experimental results and simulations for channel-induced extension (linearization) of ring chains. Results for confined rings indicate a transition between moderate and strong confinement similar to that of linear chains. Owing to stronger self-avoidance in confined rings, the transition and chain extension is shifted relative to linear DNA. We suggest that a relationship similar to that used for the extension of linear chains may also be used for circular DNA.

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