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NIST team advances in translating language of nanopores
Date:6/24/2010

le through a nanopore's opening with great accuracy. The molecules were polyethylene glycol (PEG), a well-understood polymer that forms chains of varying length.

"PEG chains can be very long, but each link is very small," Kasianowicz says. "It was a good test because we wanted to see if the nanopore could differentiate between two nearly identical large molecules that differ in length by only a few atoms."

The team's device was able to distinguish among different-sized PEG chains easily, and the model they have developed to describe the PEG-nanopore interactions is encouraging them to think that with further effort, the minuscule sensors can be customized to measure many different molecules quickly. "We could conceivably build an array of many nanopores, each one created to measure a specific substance," Kasianowicz says. "Because each nanopore is so small, an array with one for every protein in the body would still be tiny."


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Contact: Chad Boutin
boutin@nist.gov
301-975-4261
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

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