TCBG Seminar

Electronic Recognition of DNA Strands with Nanopore Sensors

Dr. Aleksei Aksimentiev
Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL

Monday, February 28, 2005
4:00 pm (CT)
464 Loomis


Using highly focused electron beams, artificial nanopores of nanometer diameter can be manufactured in ultra-thin silicon membranes with sub-nanometer precision. Applying a trans-membrane voltage bias, DNA strands can be driven through such pores; the resulting electrical signals can be recorded. The diameter of the pore as well as the thickness of the silicon membrane can be made to match closely the dimensions of a nucleotide in a DNA strand, the electrical signals produced by the interaction of DNA with the pore were proposed to contain information about the DNA sequence. In order to relate the DNA sequence to the measured electrical signals we characterized DNA conformations inside the pore through molecular dynamics simulations. In this talk I will describe our progress to date in recognizing DNA structure with artificial and biological nanopores.

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