Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanopores on a Chip: Applications for Analytical Tasks in Chemistry and Biology

Abstract:
Biological nanopores are proteins of only a few nanometers in diameter that form tiny water-filled canals. They have proven to be promising tools in the field of nanobiotechnology. In a joint project at the University of Freiburg, a research group led by Prof. Dr. Jan C. Behrends, Institute of Physiology, and scientists working under Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rühe, Department of Microsystems Technology (IMTEK), have succeeded in arranging nanopores on a tiny microchip and using it to determine the mass of chain-like molecules, so-called polymers, with a high degree of precision. In these experiments, the nanopores assume the role of the actual sensor.. The first author of the study, now published in the renowned journal ACSNano of the American Chemical Society, Dr. Gerhard Baaken, hopes that the new development will be instrumental in exploiting the great potential of nanopore analysis for chemistry and the life sciences.

Nanopores on a Chip: Applications for Analytical Tasks in Chemistry and Biology

Freiburg, Germany | Posted on October 7th, 2011

In their natural environment, nanopores often have the function of transporting larger molecules. For instance, they convey proteins through membranes. Bacteria also use nanopores to destroy the cells of infected organisms. This is also true of alpha-hemolysin, a protein produced by staphylococci to destroy red blood cells. This protein has also recently found applications in analytical tasks in chemistry and biology. If a large-sized molecule gets into the pore, it becomes partially blocked for fractions of a second. By measuring the electrical conductivity of the hemolysin pore, scientists can detect the presence of a single molecule—in a fashion similar to the function of a light barrier. By the same principle it is also possible to make a very precise measurement of the size of the molecule. Scientists are very optimistic about the potential applications—not only for the analysis of synthetic polymer mixtures, but also for the analysis of genetic material and even as a quick and inexpensive way to sequence DNA.

The Freiburg research team has now succeeded in conducting such measurements on a specially developed biohybrid microsensor made of biological and micro-technical parts. It contains 16 miniaturized artificial cell membranes on only one square millimeter. The individual membranes are spread over minuscule pits, each with a diameter of approximately two-hundredths of a millimeter. That is the equivalent of around one-third of the thickness of a human hair. In their publication, the authors demonstrate that they can use the chip to obtain the distributions of polymer sizes that are accurate to a single chain element. Currently, results of such precision require expensive equipment filling entire rooms. The project is a good example of successful collaboration among strongly diverging disciplines.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dr. Gerhard Baaken
Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK)
University of Freiburg
Phone: 0761-203-5145


Prof. Dr. Jan Behrends
Institute of Physiology
University of Freiburg
Phone: 0761-203-5146


Melanie Hübner
+49 (0) 761/203-4302

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

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

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Falcon 9's Return to Flight January 19th, 2017

Eric Berger Wins the National Space Society's 2017 Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media January 19th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 7, 2017 January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Sensors

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Researchers create practical and versatile microscopic optomechanical device: Trapping light and mechanical waves within a tiny bullseye, design could enable more sensitive motion detection January 11th, 2017

STMicroelectronics Peps Up Booming Social-Fitness Scene with Smart Motion Sensors for Better Accuracy, Longer Battery Life, and Faster Time to Market January 2nd, 2017

Advance in intense pulsed light sintering opens door to improved electronics manufacturing December 23rd, 2016

Discoveries

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Announcements

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Falcon 9's Return to Flight January 19th, 2017

Eric Berger Wins the National Space Society's 2017 Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media January 19th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 7, 2017 January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

New active filaments mimic biology to transport nano-cargo: A new design for a fully biocompatible motility engine transports colloidal particles faster than diffusion with active filaments January 11th, 2017

Keystone Nano Announces FDA Approval Of Investigational New Drug Application For Ceramide NanoLiposome For The Improved Treatment Of Cancer January 10th, 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