Probing nanotube-nanopore interactions

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Original entry by Andrew Capulli, AP225 Fall 2011


The investigation into the properties of nanopore channels in biological membranes is not well characterized in their purest form; this is to say that high electrophoretically driven molecular speeds are required for the translocation of molecules through these biological nanopores (such as proteins, DNA, etc). With the semi-recent advancement in nanotechnology of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (ATM) for example, as noted by the authors, there is a new interest in the physics of molecules at this size scale and the interactions thereof; in particular, at this size scale, the investigation into single molecule systems and characterization of the molecule is of interest. However, as noted, much of the study into these nanopore systems requires electrical charge of molecule in question to 'drive' its translocation through the nanopore. This addition of a charge can be thought of as slightly modifying the molecule thus resulting in study of an inexact system (not necessarily the molecule in its purest, uncharged form). This drives the need for a system of trans-nanopore delivery of molecules in such studies and is what Golovchenko et al present in this methods paper.