DNA Through Graphene Nanopores

Delft University of Technology announces a new type of nanopore devices that may significantly impact the way we screen DNA molecules.

Story content courtesy of Prof. C. Dekker, Kafli Institute of Nanoscience, Netherlands

Artistic rendering of DNA translocation through a graphene nanopore. A double-strand DNA molecule is seen to traverse through a small hole made in an atomically thin layer of graphene that is located on a Si/SiN chip.

Image courtesy Cees Dekker lab TU Delft / Tremani

The research team has developed a novel technique to fabricate tiny holes in a layer of graphene (a carbon layer with a thickness of only 1 atom), and were then able to slide a single molecule of DNA through a tiny nanoscale hole. The DNA moves base per base through the nanopore. With the atomically thin graphene nanopore, one in principle has the potential for reading off the DNA sequence, base per base.

In addition to sequencing, graphene nanopores offer new opportunities, such as improved sensors for science and other applications.

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