May 4, 2010
Bio-functionalization resizes FIB fabricated nanopores
Large nanopores, fabricated using standard lithographic techniques, can be bio-functionalized to produce a final device with dimensions compatible with single-molecule sensing applications and selectivity to different kinds of interactions between probe and target molecules.
Results presented by researchers from the Nanomed Labs at the University of Genova, Italy, demonstrate that it will be possible, in the near future, to conceive and design devices for parallel analysis of biological samples made from differently functionalized nanopore arrays fabricated by standard lithographic techniques.
These hybrid biosensors, which could be integrated into more complex microfluidic devices and lab-on-a chip systems, point towards important applications in the field of molecular diagnosis.
Single-molecule sensing with nanopores is a fast developing field. Potentially the approach could provide a low-cost, fast-processing and high-throughput alternative to current DNA analysis and sequencing techniques. The properties of the nanopore can be finely tuned by introducing artificial binding and recognition sites to confer selectivity to the sensing process and to introduce novel biological and chemical functionalities.
The study proves that chemical functionalization with DNA oligonucleotides causes a tunable resizing of large FIB fabricated nanopores, paving the way for gene expression profiling applications.
More information can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.
About the author
NANOMED Labs is an Italian national research facility, founded by Ministero dell'Università e della Ricerca (FIRB 2003 project). Its aim is to develop advanced nanotechnology applications in the field of biomedicine, and to group multidisciplinary expertise in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and physics. Valentina Mussi is a staff researcher with responsibility for the nanopore project. Dr Luca Repetto and Giuseppe Firpo realized the FIB fabrication and SEM imaging activity. The team is directed by Prof. Ugo Valbusa of the Physics Department of the University of Genova. Dr Paola Fanzio is a PhD student at the University of Genova. The study was made in collaboration with Dr Paola Scaruffi, Dr Sara Stigliani and Prof. Gian Paolo Tonini of the National Institute of Cancer Research.