Nanopore analysis of macromolecules
David Deamer, Ph.D.
University of California, Santa Cruz
Wednesday, July 2, 2003
Pacific Forum – 3:00 p.m.
One of the most exciting prospects to emerge recently has been that the
properties of single molecules can now be investigated. We have
established a novel analytical approach that permits individual molecules
in solution to be studied. In this technique, single-stranded DNA and RNA
molecules are driven through a nanoscopic pore by an applied electric
field. As each molecule occupies the pore, a characteristic blockade of
ionic current is produced. Information about length, composition,
structure, and dynamic motion of the molecule can be deduced from
modulations of the current blockade. The nanopore can be considered to be
a single molecule biosensor, and we believe that the basic concept can be
used to detect and identify macromolecules such as nucleic acid fragments
and proteins as biomarkers in marine environments.
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