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Open Access Nano Express

Electrically facilitated translocation of protein through solid nanopore

Lingzhi Wu12, Hang Liu1, Wenyuan Zhao1, Lei Wang1, Chuanrong Hou1, Quanjun Liu1* and Zuhong Lu1*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China

2 School of Geography and Biological Information, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing 210046, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:140  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-140

Published: 24 March 2014

Abstract

Nanopores have been proven as versatile single-molecule sensors for individual unlabeled biopolymer detection and characterization. In the present work, a relative large nanopore with a diameter of about 60 nm has been used to detect protein translocation driven by a series of applied voltages. Compared with previous studied small nanopores, a distinct profile of protein translocation through a larger nanopore has been characterized. First, a higher threshold voltage is required to drive proteins into the large nanopore. With the increase of voltages, the capture frequency of protein into the nanopore has been markedly enhanced. And the distribution of current blockage events is characterized as a function of biased voltages. Due to the large dimension of the nanopore, the adsorption and desorption phenomenon of proteins observed with a prolonged dwell time has been weakened in our work. Nevertheless, the protein can still be stretched into an unfolded state by increased electric forces at high voltages. In consideration of the high throughput of the large nanopore, a couple of proteins passing through the nanopore simultaneously occur at high voltage. As a new feature, the feasibility and specificity of a nanopore with distinct geometry have been demonstrated for sensing protein translocation, which broadly expand the application of nanopore devices.

Keywords:
Protein translocation; Solid state nanopore; Current blockage; Translocation time