Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Graphene nanopores can be controlled: Less costly ways of sequencing DNA

Date:
October 3, 2012
Source:
University of Texas at Dallas
Summary:
Engineers have used advanced techniques to make the material graphene small enough to read DNA. Shrinking the size of a graphene pore to less than one nanometer opens the possibility of graphene as a low-cost tool to sequence DNA.

These are transmission electron microscope images of a nanopore in graphene. The original pore on the left grows considerably under the influence of the electron beam. The image on the right is the pore after four minutes at 800 C. Pores either shrink or grow depending on the temperature and electron beam irradiation.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Texas at Dallas

Engineers at The University of Texas at Dallas have used advanced techniques to make the material graphene small enough to read DNA.

Shrinking the size of a graphene pore to less than one nanometer -- small enough to thread a DNA strand -- opens the possibility of using graphene as a low-cost tool to sequence DNA.

"Sequencing DNA at a very cheap cost would enable scientists and doctors to better predict and diagnose disease, and also tailor a drug to an individual's genetic code," said Dr. Moon Kim, professor of materials science and engineering. He was senior author of an article depicted on the cover of the September print edition of Carbon.

The first reading, or sequencing, of human DNA by the international scientific research group known as the Human Genome Project cost about $2.7 billion. Engineers have been researching alternative nanomaterials materials that can thread DNA strands to reduce the cost to less than $1,000 per person.

Dr. Moon Kim, professor of materials science and engineering, was the senior author of the article.

It was demonstrated in 2004 that graphite could be changed into a sheet of bonded carbon atoms called graphene, which is believed to be the strongest material ever measured. Because graphene is thin and strong, researchers have searched for ways to control its pore size. They have not had much success. A nanoscale sensor made of graphene could be integrated with existing silicon-based electronics that are very advanced and yet cheap, to reduce costs.

In this study, Kim and his team manipulated the size of the nanopore by using an electron beam from an advanced electron microscope and in-situ heating up to 1200 degree Celsius temperature.

"This is the first time that the size of the graphene nanopore has been controlled, especially shrinking it," said Kim. "We used high temperature heating and electron beam simultaneously, one technique without the other doesn't work."

Now that researchers know the pore size can be controlled, the next step in their research will be to build a prototype device.

"If we could sequence DNA cheaply, the possibilities for disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment would be limitless," Kim said. "Controlling graphene puts us one step closer to making this happen."

Other UT Dallas researchers from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science involved in this project are Dr. Ning Lu, research scientist in materials science and engineering; Dr. Jinguo Wang, associate EM Facility Director; and Dr. Herman Carlo Floresca, postdoctoral research fellow in materials science and engineering.

The study was funded by the Southwest Academy of Nanoelectronics, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the World Class University Program.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Ning Lu, Jinguo Wang, Herman C. Floresca, Moon J. Kim. In situ studies on the shrinkage and expansion of graphene nanopores under electron beam irradiation at temperatures in the range of 400–1200C. Carbon, 2012; 50 (8): 2961 DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2012.02.078

Cite This Page:

University of Texas at Dallas. "Graphene nanopores can be controlled: Less costly ways of sequencing DNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003141406.htm>.
University of Texas at Dallas. (2012, October 3). Graphene nanopores can be controlled: Less costly ways of sequencing DNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003141406.htm
University of Texas at Dallas. "Graphene nanopores can be controlled: Less costly ways of sequencing DNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003141406.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
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