Electronic DNA Sequencing

  • Author: David Bradley
  • Published: 29 July 2010
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Nano Lett./ACS Publications (Image: Robert Johnson)
thumbnail image: Electronic DNA Sequencing

A graphene-based platform for detecting single DNA molecules could lead the way to a rapid and more efficient electrical sequencing technique.

US researchers have burned nanoscopic holes into a graphene sheet using electron beam technology and showed that DNA strands can be thread through these holes by applying an electric field. As each DNA base passes through the hole it blocks the flow of electrolyte ions to a different degree depending on which bases is present.

This discovery has the potential to be developed into a low-cost but high-throughput DNA sequencing technique to speed up molecular biology, medical diagnostics, and forensics as well as improving studies of the chemistry of DNA and other biological macromolecules.

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