Surface coatings for solid-state nanopores
Since their introduction in 2001, solid-state nanopores have been increasingly exploited for the detection and characterization of biomolecules ranging from single DNA strands to protein complexes. A major factor that enables the application of nanopores to the analysis and characterization of a broad range of macromolecules is the preparation of coatings on the pore wall to either prevent non-specific adhesion of molecules or to facilitate specific interactions of molecules of interest within the pore. Surface coatings can therefore be useful to minimize clogging of nanopores or to increase the residence time of target analytes in the pore. This review article describes various coatings and their utility for changing pore diameters, increasing the stability of nanopores, reducing non-specific interactions, manipulating surface charges, enabling interactions with specific target molecules, and reducing the noise of current recordings through nanopores. We compare the coating methods with respect to the ease of preparing the coating, the stability of the coating and the requirement for specialized equipment to prepare the coating.