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.