Nanopores pp 1-33 | Cite as

Solid-State Nanopore Sensors for Nucleic Acid Analysis



Solid-state nanopores are nm sized apertures formed in thin synthetic membranes. These single molecule sensors have been used in a variety of biophysical and diagnostic applications and serve as a potential candidate in the development of cost-effective, next generation DNA sequencing technologies, critical to furthering our understanding of inheritance, individuality, disease and evolution. The versatility of solid-state nanopore technology allows for both interfacing with biological systems at the nano-scale as well as large scale VLSI integration promising reliable, affordable, mass producible biosensors with single molecule sensing capabilities. In addition, this technology allows for truly parallel, high throughput DNA and protein analysis through the development of nanopore and micropore arrays in ultra-thin synthetic membranes. This chapter is focused on the development of solid-state nanopore sensors in synthetic membranes and the potential benefits and challenges associated with this technology. Biological nanopores, primarily α-hemolysin and the phi29 connector are also reviewed. We conclude with a detailed discussion on chemically modified solid-state nanopores. These surface functionalized nanopore sensors combine the stability and versatility of solid-state nanopores with the sensitivity and selectivity of biological nanopore systems and may play an important role in drug screening and medical diagnostics.


α-hemolysin phi29 Nanopores in Al2O3 Membranes Surface Charges in Nanopores Surface Enhanced DNA Transport 



We thank the staff at Micro and Nanotechnology Lab and Frederick Seitz Materials Research Lab, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for their assistance. We acknowledge the funding from the National Institutes of Health through the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research Nanomedicine Development Center (PN2 EY 018230) and NIH R21 EB007472.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Micro and Nanotechnology LabUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Bioengineering, Micro and Nanotechnology LabUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

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