Engineering Nanopores for Single-Molecule Detection of Proteins

When: Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm
Where: DA 114
Speaker: Liviu Movileanu
Organization: Syracuse University
Sponsor: Physics Colloquium

The underlying principle of nanopore probe techniques is quite simple: the application of a voltage bias across an electrically insulated membrane enables the measurement of a tiny picoamp-scale transmembrane current through a single hole of nanometer size, called a nanopore. Each molecule, translocating through the nanopore, produces a distinctive current blockade, the nature of which depends on its biophysical properties as well as the molecule-nanopore interaction. I will describe our recent strategies for engineering new functional nanopores for single-molecule protein detection, both in organic and silicon-based materials, and with properties that are not encountered in nature. From a practical point of view, this methodology shows promise for the integration of engineered nanopores into nanofluidic devices, which would provide a new generation of research tools in nanomedicine and in high-throughput applications for molecular biomedical diagnosis.