Low-cost, ultra-fast DNA sequencing would revolutionize healthcare and biomedical research, sparking major advances in drug development, preventative medicine and personalized medicine. By gaining access to the entire sequence of your genome, a physician could determine the probability that you'll develop a specific genetic disease or tolerate selected medications. In pursuit of that goal, Professor
Now Meller and a team of researchers at the
Meller: "The light-induced surface charge modulation phenomenon that we describe in this paper can be used to instantly switch on and off the "brakes" acting on individual biopolymers, such as DNA or proteins sliding through the nanopores. This critically enhances the sensing resolution of solid-state nanopores, and can be easily integrated in future nanopore based DNA sequencing and protein detection technologies"
Slowing down DNA is essential to DNA or RNA sequencing with nanopores, so that nanoscale sensors can make the right call on what's passing through.
"The goal is to hold a base pair (of DNA nucleotides) in the nanopore's sensing volume long enough to 'call the base' (i.e, determine if it's an
Meller and his team characterized the amount of increase in current under varying illumination in many different-sized nanopores. They next aim to explore in greater detail the mechanism underlying the increase in surface current when the green laser is applied to a nanopore, information that could lead to even more sensitivity and accuracy in DNA sequencing.
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