Resistive-pulse DNA detection with a conical nanopore sensor. Academic Article uri icon


  • In this paper, we describe resistive-pulse sensing of two large DNAs, a single-stranded phage DNA (7250 bases) and a double-stranded plasmid DNA (6600 base pairs), using a conically shaped nanopore in a track-etched polycarbonate membrane as the sensing element. The conically shaped nanopore had a small-diameter (tip) opening of 40 nm and a large-diameter (base) opening of 1.5 microm. The DNAs were detected using the resistive-pulse, sometimes called stochastic sensing, method. This entails applying a transmembrane potential difference and monitoring the resulting ion current flowing through the nanopore. The phage DNA was driven electrophoretically through the nanopore (from tip to base), and these translocation events were observed as transient blocks in the ion current. We found that the frequency of these current-block events scales linearly with the concentration of the DNA and with the magnitude of the applied transmembrane potential. Increasing the applied transmembrane potential also led to a decrease in the duration of the current-block events. We also analyzed current-block events for the double-stranded plasmid DNA. However, because this DNA is too large to enter the tip opening of the nanopore, it could not translocate the pore. As a result, much shorter duration current-block events were observed, which we postulate are associated with bumping of the double-stranded DNA against the tip opening.

published proceedings

  • Langmuir

altmetric score

  • 12

author list (cited authors)

  • Harrell, C. C., Choi, Y., Horne, L. P., Baker, L. A., Siwy, Z. S., & Martin, C. R.

citation count

  • 184

complete list of authors

  • Harrell, C Chad||Choi, Youngseon||Horne, Lloyd P||Baker, Lane A||Siwy, Zuzanna S||Martin, Charles R

publication date

  • December 2006