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Issue 10, 2007
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Developing synthetic conical nanopores for biosensing applications

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In this review we bring together recent results from our group focused towards the development of biosensors from single conically-shaped artificial nanopores. The nanopores, used in the work presented here, were prepared using the track-etch process. The fabrication of track-etched conical nanopores has been optimized to allow for single nanopores with reproducible dimensions to be prepared. We have also demonstrated techniques that allow for easy and controllable manipulation of nanopore geometry (e.g., cone angle). We will consider the ion transport properties of the conical nanopores and factors that affect these properties. Methods for introducing functions that mimic biological ion channels, such as voltage-gating, into these nanopores will also be addressed. Three prototype sensors developed from single conical nanopores will be presented. In the first two sensors, the single conical nanopores function as resistive-pulse sensors and detect the presence of analytes as current-blockade events in the ion current. The third sensor functions in an on/off mode, much like a ligand-gated ion channel. In the presence of a target analyte, the ion current permanently shuts off.

Graphical abstract: Developing synthetic conical nanopores for biosensing applications

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jun 2007, accepted on 10 Jul 2007 and first published on 03 Sep 2007

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/B708725J
Citation: Mol. BioSyst., 2007,3, 667-685
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    Developing synthetic conical nanopores for biosensing applications

    L. T. Sexton, L. P. Horne and C. R. Martin, Mol. BioSyst., 2007, 3, 667
    DOI: 10.1039/B708725J

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