Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > New Nanopore Technique Facilitates Faster, Cheaper Genome Analyses

Schematic of a solid state nanopore used for genome analyses (not to scale). The electrostatic potential near an approximately five nanometer-wide, solid-state nanopore attracts negatively-charged, double-stranded DNA molecules into the pore, which electronically detects the molecules as they traverse the pore. (Photo courtesy of Nature Nanotechnology.)
Schematic of a solid state nanopore used for genome analyses (not to scale). The electrostatic potential near an approximately five nanometer-wide, solid-state nanopore attracts negatively-charged, double-stranded DNA molecules into the pore, which electronically detects the molecules as they traverse the pore. (Photo courtesy of Nature Nanotechnology.)

Abstract:
Ultra-fast, low-cost genomic sequencing and profiling may some day accelerate the pace of biological discovery and enable clinicians to quickly and precisely diagnose patients' susceptibility to disease and tolerance of selected drugs. But this scenario may not be realized until engineers find a way to considerably increase the sensitivity of sensors used to detect the DNA molecules that define the human genome.

New Nanopore Technique Facilitates Faster, Cheaper Genome Analyses

Boston, MA | Posted on December 21st, 2009

It's a feat that could be achieved by reducing the number of target DNA molecule copies needed to obtain an accurate read. And that presents a formidable challenge: to produce sufficient copies to decipher the genome using current technology, most scientists still rely on time-consuming, expensive, and error-prone DNA replication tools such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Now researchers have devised a method that advances the prospects for efficiently analyzing DNA samples without amplification. In a study published in the Dec. 20 online edition of Nature Nanotechnology, Associate Professor Amit Meller (BME, Physics), BME postdoctoral fellow Meni Wanunu, BU physics student Will Morrison and collaborators at New York University and Bar-Ilan University demonstrated a method to tune solid-state nanopores tiny, nearly cylindrical, silicon nitride sensors that electronically detect DNA molecules as they pass through the pore to require far fewer DNA molecules than ever before.

"This study shows that using our method, we can detect a much smaller amount of DNA than previously published," said Meller. "When people will start to implement genome sequencing or profiling using nanopores, they could use our nanopore capture approach to greatly reduce the number of copies used in those measurements."

Nanopore capture consists of two distinct steps: the arrival of a sample molecule to the pore mouth, and the threading of the end of that molecule into the pore. To significantly increase the rate at which nanopores capture incoming, two nanometer-wide DNA molecules, Meller and his colleagues used salt gradients to alter the electric field in the pore's vicinity. This achieved a funneling effect that directed charged DNA molecules toward the mouth of the pore and boosted the molecules' arrival and threading rates.

By upping the capture rate by a few orders of magnitude and decreasing the volume of the sample receiving chamber, the researchers reduced the number of DNA molecule copies required for nanopore-based detection by a factor of 10,000 from about one billion sample molecules to 100,000. They also demonstrated that longer DNA molecules (containing tens of thousands of nucleotide base pairs) increased the capture rate even further.

"PCR and other DNA replication technologies limit DNA molecule length," said Meller. "Because our method avoids amplification, it not only reduces the cost, time and error rate of DNA replication techniques, but also enables the analysis of very long strands of DNA."

Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, the research team set out to achieve a better understanding of the physical forces that govern the DNA capture process. They arrived at their findings by using high-end transmission electron microscopes (TEM) to fabricate hundreds of nanopores with atomic-scale precision, and testing differently configured salt gradients near the pores.

"We had to perform extensive studies with these nearly atomic-scale pores in order to reveal how the electrostatic potential, which extends at least hundreds of nanometers away from the pore, focuses DNA into and through the pore," said Meller.

To conduct further investigations of unamplified genomes, Meller is now exploring other technologies, including optical detection and force measurements, for reading single DNA molecules as they pass through nanopores.

####

About Boston University
Boston University is one of the leading private research and teaching institutions in the world today, with two primary campuses in the heart of Boston and programs around the world.

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Boston University

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

Heating quantum matter: A novel view on topology: Physicists demonstrate how heating up a quantum system can be used as a universal probe for exotic states of matter August 22nd, 2017

A Tougher Tooth: A new dental restoration composite developed by UCSB scientists proves more durable than the conventional material August 22nd, 2017

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Tokai University research: Nanomaterial wrap for improved tissue imaging August 21st, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

2-faced 2-D material is a first at Rice: Rice University materials scientists create flat sandwich of sulfur, molybdenum and selenium August 14th, 2017

Possible Futures

Heating quantum matter: A novel view on topology: Physicists demonstrate how heating up a quantum system can be used as a universal probe for exotic states of matter August 22nd, 2017

A Tougher Tooth: A new dental restoration composite developed by UCSB scientists proves more durable than the conventional material August 22nd, 2017

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Tokai University research: Nanomaterial wrap for improved tissue imaging August 21st, 2017

Nanomedicine

Tokai University research: Nanomaterial wrap for improved tissue imaging August 21st, 2017

Gold nanostars and immunotherapy vaccinate mice against cancer: New treatment cures, vaccinates mouse in small proof-of-concept study August 18th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Sensors

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors August 20th, 2017

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Sensing technology takes a quantum leap with RIT photonics research: Office of Naval Research funds levitated optomechanics project August 10th, 2017

Giant enhancement of electromagnetic waves revealed within small dielectric particles: Scientists have done for the first time direct measurements of giant electromagnetic fields July 8th, 2017

Announcements

Heating quantum matter: A novel view on topology: Physicists demonstrate how heating up a quantum system can be used as a universal probe for exotic states of matter August 22nd, 2017

A Tougher Tooth: A new dental restoration composite developed by UCSB scientists proves more durable than the conventional material August 22nd, 2017

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Tokai University research: Nanomaterial wrap for improved tissue imaging August 21st, 2017

Tools

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Tokai University research: Nanomaterial wrap for improved tissue imaging August 21st, 2017

Scientists from the University of Manchester and Diamond Light Source work with Deben to develop and test a new compression stage to study irradiated graphite at elevated temperatures August 15th, 2017

FRITSCH Milling and Sizing! Innovations at POWTECH 2017 - Hall 2 Stand 227 August 9th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Tokai University research: Nanomaterial wrap for improved tissue imaging August 21st, 2017

Gold nanostars and immunotherapy vaccinate mice against cancer: New treatment cures, vaccinates mouse in small proof-of-concept study August 18th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

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