Solid State Nanopores



Solid-state nanopores represent an elegant and versatile tool to measure single molecules. The principle is quite simple (as shown in the simulation): an impermeable membrane containing a nanometre-sized hole (the nanopore) is sandwiched between two compartments containing an electrolytic solution. Using electrodes, a voltage difference is applied between both compartments, leading to an ionic current through the nanopore. As a negatively charged DNA molecule nears the pore, it will be attracted into the pore and thereby temporarily block the ionic current. The magnitude and the duration of the current blockade provide information on structural features of the molecules such as the molecDNA translocation - animationular diameter and its’ charge distribution.


Our group was among the first to study DNA translocations through solid-state nanopores and over the years we gained a lot of expertise. We continuously explore the use of these nanopores by combining them with different detection principles, such as plasmonics, Raman spectroscopy or by measuring a current through nanostructures (or across nanostructures) while DNA molecules pass a nanopore in such a structure. We also use these artificial pores to mimic real biologically relevant pores, such as the nuclear pore complex. Please read further on these and other topics.