Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fitting a biological nanopore into an artificial one, new ways to analyze DNA

Date:
December 6, 2010
Source:
Delft University of Technology
Summary:
Researchers a have announced a new type of nanopore device that could help in developing fast and cheap genetic analysis. They report on a novel method that combines artificial and biological materials to result in a tiny hole on a chip, which is able to measure and analyze single DNA molecules.

Researchers at Delft University of Technology and Oxford University announce a new type of nanopore device that could help in developing fast and cheap genetic analysis.
Credit: Image courtesy of Delft University of Technology

Researchers at Delft University of Technology and Oxford University announce a new type of nanopore device that could help in developing fast and cheap genetic analysis. In the journal Nature Nanotechnology (November 28), they report on a novel method that combines artificial and biological materials to result in a tiny hole on a chip, which is able to measure and analyze single DNA molecules.

Biological

"The first mapping of the human genome -- where the content of the human DNA was read off ('sequenced') -- was completed in 2003 and it cost an estimated 3 billion US dollars. Imagine if that cost could drop to a level of a few 100 euro, where everyone could have their own personal genome sequenced. That would allow doctors to diagnose diseases and treat them before any symptoms arise." Professor Cees Dekker of the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft explains.

One promising device is called a nanopore: a minute hole that can be used to 'read' information from a single molecule of DNA as it threads through the hole.

New research by Dekker's group in collaboration with prof. Hagan Bayley of Oxford University, has now demonstrated a new, much more robust type of nanopore device. It combines biological and artificial building blocks.

Fragile

Dekker said, 'Nanopores are already used for DNA analysis by inserting naturally occurring, pore-forming proteins into a liquid-like membrane made of lipids. DNA molecules can be pulled individually through the pore by applying an electrical voltage across it, and analyzed in much the same way that music is read from an old cassette tape as it is threaded through a player. One aspect that makes this biological technology especially difficult, however, is the reliance on the fragile lipid support layer. This new hybrid approach is much more robust and suitable to integrate nanopores into devices. '

Putting proteins onto a silicon chip

The new research, performed chiefly by lead author dr. Adam Hall, now demonstrates a simple method to implant the pore-forming proteins into a robust layer in a silicon chip. Essentially, an individual protein is attached to a larger piece of DNA, which is then pulled through a pre-made opening in a silicon nitride membrane (see the attached image). When the DNA molecule threads through the hole, it pulls the pore-forming protein behind it, eventually lodging it in the opening and creating a strong, chip-based system that is tailor-made for arrays and device applications. The researchers have shown that the hybrid device is fully functional and can be used to detect DNA molecules.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Delft University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Adam R. Hall, Andrew Scott, Dvir Rotem, Kunal K. Mehta, Hagan Bayley, Cees Dekker. Hybrid pore formation by directed insertion of α-haemolysin into solid-state nanopores. Nature Nanotechnology, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2010.237

Cite This Page:

Delft University of Technology. "Fitting a biological nanopore into an artificial one, new ways to analyze DNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129111826.htm>.
Delft University of Technology. (2010, December 6). Fitting a biological nanopore into an artificial one, new ways to analyze DNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129111826.htm
Delft University of Technology. "Fitting a biological nanopore into an artificial one, new ways to analyze DNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129111826.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) South Korean officials say North Korea is preparing to conduct another nuclear test, but is Pyongyang just bluffing this time? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Falls for 4x4s at Beijing Auto Show

China Falls for 4x4s at Beijing Auto Show

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) The urban 4x4 is the latest must-have for Chinese drivers, whose conversion to the cult of the SUV is the talking point of this year's Beijing auto show. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) The light-field photography engineers at Lytro unveiled their next innovation: a professional DSLR-like camera called "Illum." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Reasons Why Harley Davidson Is Selling Tons of Epic Hogs

3 Reasons Why Harley Davidson Is Selling Tons of Epic Hogs

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) Sales of motorcycles have continued to ride back from the depths of hell known as the Great Recession. Excluding scooters, sales of motorcycles increased 3% in 2013. In units, however, at 465,000 sold last year, the total remained about 50% below the peak hit in 2007. Industry leader Harley Davidson’s shareholders have benefited both by the industry recovery and positive headlines emanating from the company. Belus Capital Advisors CEO Brian Sozzi takes you beyond the headlines of the motorcycle maker. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins