Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Nanopores That Can Recognize, Separate Proteins and Small Molecules Developed at UMass Amherst

Abstract:
Nanopores, holes less than one-thousand the width of a human hair, are capable of isolating strands of DNA or therapeutic drugs from a solution, based mostly on the size of the pores. Now, a chemist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has created nanopores that can recognize and interact with certain molecules, actively controlling their movement across synthetic membranes. Results were published online Feb. 3 in Nature Nanotechnology.

Nanopores That Can Recognize, Separate Proteins and Small Molecules Developed at UMass Amherst

AMHERST, MA | Posted on March 2nd, 2008

By lining their internal cavities with various polymers, S. "Thai" Thayumanavan and his students Elamprakash Savariar and K. Krishnamoorthy of the UMass Amherst department of chemistry have developed a method for creating nanopores that can separate small molecules and proteins based on size, charge and how strongly they are repelled by water. The method could be used in many applications including diagnostic medical tests, DNA sequencing and fuel-cell membranes.

"Modifying the internal cavities of nanopores with polymers allows them to interact with molecules moving through the pores. By using different polymers, we can control how the molecules will react with the nanopore and this allows us to identify them as they pass through," says Thayumanavan. "This process may be especially suitable for sensors, since the presence of a single molecule can produce changes in the electrical properties of the nanopore that we can detect and measure."

Thayumanavan views this process as a platform technology that could be used by researchers in many fields. "At UMass Amherst, we are researching the use of this method in sensors and separations, as well as addressing some fundamental questions about fuel-cell membranes as part of the Center for Fueling the Future funded by the National Science Foundation."

To create these functional nanopores, Thayumanavan immersed a membrane containing nanopores in a tin solution, causing tin ions with a positive charge to adhere to the inside of the pores. Filtering a negatively charged polymer solution through the membrane caused tin ions to attract molecules of the polymer like a magnet and hold them in place, where they can easily react with other molecules in the confined space of the nanopores.

This process has many advantages over current methods. "Using polymer molecules allows you to precisely control the size of the nanopores at the same time that you are altering them to perform specific functions," says Thayumanavan. "It can also be done quickly, usually in a few minutes. This method also results in a uniform layer inside the nanopore that behaves in a predictable way."

Testing performed by Thayumanavan showed that using different types of polymers could create nanopores of almost any size, which translates to efficient separation of molecules based on their size.

Nanopores lined with polymers were also able to separate molecules based on their charge. "We found that nanopores with negatively charged interiors would allow positively charged molecules to move through the membrane more quickly," says Thayumanavan. "Conversely, nanopores decorated with positively charged interiors would favor negatively charged molecules."

In additional experiments, Thayumanavan lined the nanopores with polymers that were hydrophobic, or strongly repelled by water, and found that they would allow other hydrophobic molecules to pass more easily through the membrane. A final test revealed that the membranes could be used to separate proteins based on electrical charge.

Future research will focus on using different polymers with different functional groups to find out how specific the process can be made. "This method is limited only by the ability of chemists to place chemically reactive functional groups in polymer chains," says Thayumanavan.

####

About University of Massachusetts Amherst
From polymer science to plant biology, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a world leader for vital research that advances knowledge, enhances opportunities and produces technological innovations that invigorate the economy and benefit society.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Sankaran Thayumanavan
413/545-1313

Copyright © University of Massachusetts Amherst

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

New method allows for greater variation in band gap tunability: The method can change a material's electronic band gap by up to 200 percent January 31st, 2015

Evidence mounts for quantum criticality theory: Findings bolster theory that quantum fluctuations drive strange electronic phenomena January 30th, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Nanopesticides January 30th, 2015

DNA nanoswitches reveal how life's molecules connect: An accessible new way to study molecular interactions could lower cost and time associated with discovering new drugs January 30th, 2015

Sensors

Detection of Heavy Metals in Samples with Naked Eye January 26th, 2015

GS7 Graphene Sensor maybe Solution in Fight Against Cancer January 25th, 2015

Nanosensor Used for Simultaneous Determination of Effective Tea Components January 24th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Produce Graphene-Based Oxygen Sensor January 23rd, 2015

Discoveries

New method allows for greater variation in band gap tunability: The method can change a material's electronic band gap by up to 200 percent January 31st, 2015

Evidence mounts for quantum criticality theory: Findings bolster theory that quantum fluctuations drive strange electronic phenomena January 30th, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Nanopesticides January 30th, 2015

DNA nanoswitches reveal how life's molecules connect: An accessible new way to study molecular interactions could lower cost and time associated with discovering new drugs January 30th, 2015

Announcements

New method allows for greater variation in band gap tunability: The method can change a material's electronic band gap by up to 200 percent January 31st, 2015

Evidence mounts for quantum criticality theory: Findings bolster theory that quantum fluctuations drive strange electronic phenomena January 30th, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Nanopesticides January 30th, 2015

DNA nanoswitches reveal how life's molecules connect: An accessible new way to study molecular interactions could lower cost and time associated with discovering new drugs January 30th, 2015

Energy

New method allows for greater variation in band gap tunability: The method can change a material's electronic band gap by up to 200 percent January 31st, 2015

Crystal light: New light-converting materials point to cheaper, more efficient solar power: University of Toronto engineers study first single crystal perovskites for new solar cell and LED applications January 30th, 2015

Los Alamos Develops New Technique for Growing High-Efficiency Perovskite Solar Cells: Researchersí crystal-production insights resolve manufacturing difficulty January 29th, 2015

Carbon nanoballs can greatly contribute to sustainable energy supply January 27th, 2015

Fuel Cells

New concept of fuel cell for efficiency and environment: It grasps both performance efficiency and removal of toxic heavy metal ions in direct methanol fuel cells January 5th, 2015

Toward a low-cost 'artificial leaf' that produces clean hydrogen fuel December 3rd, 2014

Single-atom gold catalysts may offer path to low-cost production of fuel and chemicals November 28th, 2014

National Synchrotron Light Source II Achieves 'First Light' October 23rd, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

DNA nanoswitches reveal how life's molecules connect: An accessible new way to study molecular interactions could lower cost and time associated with discovering new drugs January 30th, 2015

Spider electro-combs its sticky nano-filaments January 28th, 2015

Nanoshuttle wear and tear: It's the mileage, not the age January 26th, 2015

Engineering self-assembling amyloid fibers January 26th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE