The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to nanopore/nanochannel devices, and more specifically, to capture and control of molecules in nanopore/nanochannel devices.
"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 submerged in a conducting fluid 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, so that the DNA 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
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "According to an embodiment, a method for ratcheting a double strand molecule is provided. The method includes driving the double strand molecule into a Y-channel of a membrane by a first voltage pulse. The Y-channel includes a stem and branches, and the branches are connected to the stem at a junction. The method includes slowing the double strand molecule at the junction of the Y-channel based on the first voltage pulse being weaker than a force required to break a base pair of the double strand molecule, and splitting the double strand molecule into a first single strand and a second single strand by driving the double strand molecule into the junction of the Y-channel at a second voltage pulse.
"According to an embodiment, a system for ratcheting a double strand molecule is provided. The system includes a membrane with a Y-channel, and the Y-channel includes a stem and branches, where the branches are connected to the stem at a junction. The system includes a top fluidic chamber on one side of the membrane and a bottom fluidic chamber on an opposing side of the membrane. A first voltage pulse of a voltage source drives the double strand molecule into the Y-channel of the membrane. The double strand molecule is slowed at the junction of the Y-channel based on the first voltage pulse being weaker than a force required to break a base pair of the double strand molecule. A second voltage pulse of the voltage source drives the double strand molecule into the junction of the Y-channel to split the double strand molecule into a first single strand and a second single strand.
"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.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
"The subject matter which is regarded as the invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The forgoing and other features, and advantages of the invention are apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
"FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a DNA-ratcheting nanodevice according to an embodiment.
"FIG. 2 is an abbreviated version of the nanodevice in which a membrane includes two Y-channels according to an embodiment.
"FIG. 3 illustrates a time-dependent biasing electric field chart to ratchet a DNA molecule through the Y-channel according to an embodiment.
"FIG. 4 is an abbreviated version of the nanodevice with sensors in the left and right branches to respectively sequence single strand DNA molecules according to an embodiment.
"FIG. 5 is a method of ratcheting a double strand molecule through a Y-channel according to an embodiment.
"FIG. 6 is an abbreviated version of the nanodevice in which the membrane has Y-channels with multiple branches according to an embodiment.
"FIG. 7 is a block diagram that illustrates an example of a computer (computer test setup) having capabilities, which may be included in and/or combined with embodiments."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Luan, Binquan; Zhou, Ruhong. Base-By-Base Ratcheting of Dna/Rna in a Y-Shaped Nanochannel. Filed
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