Navigation Links
Aluminum-oxide nanopore beats other materials for DNA analysis
Date:6/2/2009

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Fast and affordable genome sequencing has moved a step closer with a new solid-state nanopore sensor being developed by researchers at the University of Illinois.

The nanopore sensor, made by drilling a tiny hole through a thin film of aluminum oxide, could ultimately prove capable of performing DNA analysis with a single molecule, offering tremendous possibilities for personalized medicine and advanced diagnostics.

"Solid-state nanopore sensors have shown superior chemical, thermal and mechanical stability over their biological counterparts, and can be fabricated using conventional semiconductor processes," said Rashid Bashir, a Bliss Professor of electrical and computer engineering and bioengineering, and the director of the university's Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory.

"The aluminum-oxide nanopore sensors go a step further," Bashir said, "exhibiting superior mechanical properties, enhanced noise performance and increased lifetime over their silicon-oxide and silicon-nitride counterparts."

The researchers describe the fabrication and operation of the aluminum-oxide nanopore sensor in a paper accepted for publication in Advanced Materials, and posted on the journal's Web site.

To make the sensor, the researchers begin by using a technique called atomic layer deposition to produce a very thin film of aluminum oxide on a silicon substrate.

Next, the central portion of the substrate is etched away, leaving the film as a suspended membrane. An electron beam is then used to create a very tiny hole a nanopore in the membrane.

The process of making the nanopore resulted in an unexpected bonus, Bashir said. "As the electron beam forms the nanopore, it also heats the surrounding material, forming nanocrystallites around the nanopore. These crystals help to improve the mechanical integrity of the nanopore structure and could potentially improve noise performance as well."

The nanopore sensors described in the paper had pore diameters ranging in size from 4 to 16 nanometers, and a film thickness of approximately 50 nanometers. Thinner membranes are possible with atomic layer deposition, Bashir said, and would offer higher resolution of the detection.

"Thinner membranes can produce less noise as a molecule travels through the nanopore," said Bashir, who is also affiliated with the university's Beckman Institute, the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, and the Institute for Genomic Biology. "Ultimately, we'd like to make our membranes as thin as biological membranes, which are about 5 nanometers thick."

To demonstrate the functionality of the aluminum-oxide nanopores, the researchers performed experiments with pieces of DNA containing approximately 5,000 base pairs. Bashir's team verified the detection of single molecules, with a signal-to-noise performance comparable to that achieved with other solid-state nanopore technology.

"More work must be done to achieve single base resolution, however," Bashir said. "Our next step is to detect and measure significantly shorter molecules."


'/>"/>

Contact: James E. Kloeppel
kloeppel@illinois.edu
217-244-1073
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New, noninvasive prostate cancer test beats PSA in detecting prostate cancer
2. New antibiotic beats superbugs at their own game
3. Reef boom beats doom
4. Savanna habitat drives birds, and perhaps others, to cooperative breeding
5. Mothers little helpers
6. One species entire genome discovered inside anothers
7. UC health news: molecular pathway may predict chemotherapy effectiveness
8. Same gene protects from 1 disease, opens door to another
9. Researchers develop liquid crystal pharmaceuticals to fight cancer and other diseases
10. Using nanotubes to detect and repair cracks in aircraft wings, other structures
11. How mother of thousands makes plantlets
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/21/2016)... 2016 --> ... research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by Technology (Bio-Sensors, ... Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), Services, Application Areas, ... 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global Emotion Detection ... 22.65 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of ...
(Date:1/18/2016)... Calif. , Jan. 18, 2016  Extenua ... software that simplifies the use and access of ... and go-to-market partnership with American Cyber.  ... brings extensive experience leading transformational C4ISR and Cyber ... and integrating the latest proven technology solutions," said ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... 11, 2016 Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: SYNA ... announced that its ClearPad ® TouchView ™ ... two separate categories in the 8 th Annual ... Technology Breakthrough. The Synaptics ® TDDI solution enables ... chain, thinner devices, brighter displays and borderless designs. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... FRANCISCO , February 12, 2016 ... Medicine Efforts by Enabling Scientific Understanding of Complex ... and Rare Diseases --> ... genomic diagnostics in South Asia and a leading provider ... would contribute $10 million to the GenomeAsia 100K ...
(Date:2/11/2016)...  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: NBIX ) today announced its ... --> --> For the ... $29.3 million, or $0.34 loss per share, compared to a net ... same period in 2014. For the year ended December 31, 2015, ... loss per share, as compared to a net loss of $60.5 ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... and GERMANTOWN, Maryland , February 11, ... Standard: QIA) today announced the introduction of more than ... profiling, expanding QIAGEN,s portfolio of Sample to Insight solutions ... select from over 20,000 human genes and lncRNA to ... cellular phenotypes and disease processes. --> QGEN ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- Spectra BioPharma Selling Solutions (Spectra) is a new ... the experience, expertise, operational delivery and customer focus ... Created in concert with industry leading commercial experts, ... tactical needs of its clients by providing value-based ... and non-personal promotion. --> ...
Breaking Biology Technology: