Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Temp-controlled 'nanopores' may allow detailed blood analysis

By tethering gold nanoparticles (large spheres in top image) to the nanopore (violet), the temperature around the nanopore can be changed quickly and precisely with laser light, allowing scientists to distinguish between similar molecules in the pore that behave differently under varied temperature conditions.

Credit: Robertson/NIST
By tethering gold nanoparticles (large spheres in top image) to the nanopore (violet), the temperature around the nanopore can be changed quickly and precisely with laser light, allowing scientists to distinguish between similar molecules in the pore that behave differently under varied temperature conditions.

Credit: Robertson/NIST

Abstract:
Tiny biomolecular chambers called nanopores that can be selectively heated may help doctors diagnose disease more effectively if recent research by a team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Wheaton College, and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) proves effective. Though the findings* may be years away from application in the clinic, they may one day improve doctors' ability to search the bloodstream quickly for indicators of disease—a longstanding goal of medical research.

Temp-controlled 'nanopores' may allow detailed blood analysis

Gaithersburg, MD | Posted on March 9th, 2013

The team has pioneered work on the use of nanopores—tiny chambers that mimic the ion channels in the membranes of cells—for the detection and identification of a wide range of molecules, including DNA. Ion channels are the gateways by which the cell admits and expels materials like proteins, ions and nucleic acids. The typical ion channel is so small that only one molecule can fit inside at a time.

Previously, team members inserted a nanopore into an artificial cell membrane, which they placed between two electrodes. With this setup, they could drive individual molecules into the nanopore and trap them there for a few milliseconds, enough to explore some of their physical characteristics.

"A single molecule creates a marked change in current that flows through the pore, which allows us to measure the molecule's mass and electrical charge with high accuracy," says Joseph Reiner, a physicist at VCU who previously worked at NIST. "This enables discrimination between different molecules at high resolution. But for real-world medical work, doctors and clinicians will need even more advanced measurement capability."

A goal of the team's work is to differentiate among not just several types of molecules, but among the many thousands of different proteins and other biomarkers in our bloodstream. For example, changes in protein levels can indicate the onset of disease, but with so many similar molecules in the mix, it is important not to mistake one for another. So the team expanded their measurement capability by attaching gold nanoparticles to engineered nanopores, "which provides another means to discriminate between various molecular species via temperature control," Reiner says.

The team attached gold nanoparticles to the nanopore via tethers made from complementary DNA strands. Gold's ability to absorb light and quickly convert its energy to heat that conducts into the adjacent solution allows the team to alter the temperature of the nanopore with a laser at will, dynamically changing the way individual molecules interact with it.

"Historically, sudden temperature changes were used to determine the rates of chemical reactions that were previously inaccessible to measurement," says NIST biophysicist John Kasianowicz. "The ability to rapidly change temperatures in volumes commensurate with the size of single molecules will permit the separation of subtly different species. This will not only aid the detection and identification of biomarkers, it will also help develop a deeper understanding of thermodynamic and kinetic processes in single molecules."

The team is researching ways to improve semiconductor-based nanopores, which could further expand this new measurement capability.

*J.E. Reiner, J.W.F. Robertson, D.L. Burden, L.K. Burden, A. Balijepalli and J.J. Kasianowicz. Temperature sculpting in yoctoliter volumes. Journal of the American Chemical Society, DOI: 10.1021/ja309892e. Jan. 24, 2013.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Chad Boutin

301-975-4261

Copyright © National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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

The lightest shielding material in the world: Protection against electromagnetic interference July 3rd, 2020

Spintronics: Faster data processing through ultrashort electric pulses July 3rd, 2020

A path to new nanofluidic devices applying spintronics technology: Substantial increase in the energy conversion efficiency of hydrodynamic power generation via spin currents July 3rd, 2020

Towards lasers powerful enough to investigate a new kind of physics: An international team of researchers has demonstrated an innovative technique for increasing the intensity of lasers July 3rd, 2020

Laboratories

Carbon-loving materials designed to reduce industrial emissions July 3rd, 2020

Process for 'two-faced' nanomaterials may aid energy, information tech June 26th, 2020

Researchers mimic nature for fast, colorful 3D printing June 10th, 2020

Argonne researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles May 29th, 2020

Lab-on-a-chip

RIT researchers build micro-device to detect bacteria, viruses: New process improves lab-on-chip devices to isolate drug-resistant strains of bacterial infection, viruses April 17th, 2020

Silicon-graphene hybrid plasmonic waveguide photodetectors beyond 1.55 μm March 13th, 2020

Moving diagnostics out of the lab and into your hand: Electrochemical sensor platform technology could enable portable, multiplexed, point-of-care diagnostics for a wide range of applications November 11th, 2019

Trapping and moving tiny particles using light September 24th, 2019

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Towards lasers powerful enough to investigate a new kind of physics: An international team of researchers has demonstrated an innovative technique for increasing the intensity of lasers July 3rd, 2020

Carbon-loving materials designed to reduce industrial emissions July 3rd, 2020

Charcoal a weapon to fight superoxide-induced disease, injury: Nanomaterials soak up radicals, could aid treatment of COVID-19 July 2nd, 2020

The nature of nuclear forces imprinted in photons June 30th, 2020

Nanomedicine

Charcoal a weapon to fight superoxide-induced disease, injury: Nanomaterials soak up radicals, could aid treatment of COVID-19 July 2nd, 2020

Cellulose for manufacturing advanced materials: A review of the scientific literature made at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) highlights the potential of hybrid materials based on cellulose nanocrystals June 26th, 2020

Wearable patch may provide new treatment option for skin cancer June 18th, 2020

Tiny pump builds polyrotaxanes with precision: Artificial molecular pump gives precise control for materials design June 12th, 2020

Discoveries

The lightest shielding material in the world: Protection against electromagnetic interference July 3rd, 2020

Spintronics: Faster data processing through ultrashort electric pulses July 3rd, 2020

A path to new nanofluidic devices applying spintronics technology: Substantial increase in the energy conversion efficiency of hydrodynamic power generation via spin currents July 3rd, 2020

Towards lasers powerful enough to investigate a new kind of physics: An international team of researchers has demonstrated an innovative technique for increasing the intensity of lasers July 3rd, 2020

Announcements

Towards lasers powerful enough to investigate a new kind of physics: An international team of researchers has demonstrated an innovative technique for increasing the intensity of lasers July 3rd, 2020

Crystal structure discovered almost 200 years ago could hold key to solar cell revolution July 3rd, 2020

Flexible material shows potential for use in fabrics to heat, cool July 3rd, 2020

Carbon-loving materials designed to reduce industrial emissions July 3rd, 2020

Research partnerships

Cellulose for manufacturing advanced materials: A review of the scientific literature made at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) highlights the potential of hybrid materials based on cellulose nanocrystals June 26th, 2020

Argonne researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles May 29th, 2020

Surrey reveals its implantable biosensor that operates without batteries May 22nd, 2020

Scientists use light to accelerate supercurrents, access forbidden light, quantum world May 21st, 2020

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




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project