Sensing with Artificial Pores – From Single Molecules to Single Cells

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Event

George E. Pake Auditorium 2006-09-14

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Event

Sensing with Artificial Pores – From Single Molecules to Single Cells

Biological processes often depend on sparse interactions involving as little as a single molecule. One example is "sensory processing" or the transduction of stimuli such as odor, light, and sound into a cellular response. Such processing centers on transmembrane pore proteins or ion channels that are so finely tuned that they can open or close in response to only one molecule. This level of sensitivity is truly remarkable and serves as inspiration for developing artificial nanopores for molecular sensing.

In this talk, I will describe a fundamentally different artificial pore my group has developed within an integrated microfluidic chip. Our pore spans the length scales of "micro" to "nano" and is easily and reliably fabricated in either quartz substrates or polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). I will show our pore's ability to detect the binding of unlabeled antibody-antigen pairs as well as the ability to sense single molecules of unlabeled lambda-phage DNA. Finally, I will discuss one current application of our pore upon which we are focusing: screening specific cell-surface markers of cells.

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