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

pore 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."


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

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