Patent number 8702940 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to increasing the capture rate of molecules, and more specifically, to increasing the molecule capture rate in a nanopore via dielectrophoresis.
"Nanopore sequencing is a method for determining the order in which nucleotides occur on a strand of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). A nanopore (also referred to a pore, nanochannel, hole, etc.) can be a small hole in the order of several nanometers in internal diameter. The theory behind nanopore sequencing is about what occurs when the nanopore is immersed in a conducting fluid (e.g., ionic buffer) and an electric potential (voltage) is applied across the nanopore. Under these conditions, a slight electric current due to conduction of ions through the nanopore can be measured, and the amount of current is very sensitive to the size and shape of the nanopore. If single bases or strands of DNA pass (or part of the DNA molecule passes) through the nanopore, this can create a change in the magnitude of the current through the nanopore. Other electrical or optical sensors can also be positioned around the nanopore so that DNA bases can be differentiated while the DNA passes through the nanopore.
"The DNA can be driven through the nanopore by using various methods. For example, an electric field might attract the DNA towards the nanopore, and it might eventually pass through the nanopore. The scale of the nanopore can have the effect that the DNA may be forced through the hole as a long string, one base at a time, like thread through the eye of a needle. Recently, there has been growing interest in applying nanopores as sensors for rapid analysis of biomolecules such as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), protein, etc. Special emphasis has been given to applications of nanopores for DNA sequencing, as this technology holds the promise to reduce the cost of sequencing below
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "According to an embodiment, a method for increasing the rate of capturing molecules into the nanopore is provided. The method includes providing a nanopore through a membrane separating a first chamber from a second chamber. The nanopore, the first chamber, and the second chamber are filled with ionic buffer. The method includes providing a narrowed neck at a middle area of the first chamber, where the narrowed neck at the middle area is aligned to an entrance of the nanopore. Also, the method includes configuring the narrowed neck to have a high intensity electric field as compared to other areas of the first chamber having low intensity electric fields, and configuring the narrowed neck to have the high intensity electric field for concentrating the molecules at the middle area aligned to the entrance of the nanopore. Voltage applied between the first chamber and the second chamber drives the molecules, concentrated at the entrance of the nanopore, through the nanopore.
"According to an embodiment, a system for capturing molecules is provided. The system includes a nanopore through a membrane separating a first chamber from a second chamber. The nanopore, the first chamber, and the second chamber are filled with ionic buffer. The system includes a narrowed neck at a middle area of the first chamber, in which the narrowed neck at the middle area is aligned to an entrance of the nanopore. The narrowed neck has a high intensity electric field compared to other areas of the first chamber having low intensity electric fields. The narrowed neck having the high intensity electric field concentrates the molecules at the middle area aligned to the entrance of the nanopore. Voltage applied between the first chamber and the second chamber drives the molecules, concentrated at the entrance of the nanopore, through the nanopore.
"Additional features and advantages are realized through the techniques of the present invention. Other embodiments and aspects of the invention are described in detail herein and are considered a part of the claimed invention. For a better understanding of the invention with the advantages and the features, refer to the description and to the drawings."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Peng, Hongbo; Stolovitzky, Gustavo A.; Wang, Deqiang. Increased Molecule Capture Rate into a Nanopore. U.S. Patent Number 8702940, filed
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