DEP Trapping Using Metallised Nanopipettes

Reference number 7353

Sectors: Healthcare

Industries: Medical Devices

This invention enables efficient single molecule nanopore sensing at femtomolar concentrations using dielectrophoretic trapping by combining nanopore sensing and dielectrophoresis (DEP).

Proposed use

The relevant market for this technology is DNA sequencing, specifically in the nanopore segment. The invention can also be extended to other analytes (proteins, RNA) as well as other spectroscopies where concentration is a critical parameter. Most importantly, this device can bridge a major technological gap in science where currently there are few rare-event detection strategies. Finally, this platform opens up the door to single-cell experimentation whereby the sharp nanopipette tip can be used to efficiently extract low copy numbers of nucleic acids.

Problem addressed

One of the greatest challenges facing scientists is the accurate detection and identification of single molecules. Since the mid 1990s the use of single-molecule detection strategies based around nanopores has shown rapid growth. However, a well-known complexity is that detection and capture is predominantly diffusion-limited. This problem is compounded when taking into account the capture volume of a nanopore, typically 108–1010 times smaller than the sample volume. Our invention, a simple, yet powerful, method based on coupling single-molecule dielectrophoretic trapping to nanopore sensing, provides a solution to this problem: DNA can be captured from a controllable, but typically much larger, volume and concentrated at the tip of a metallic nanopore. This enables the detection of single molecules at concentrations as low as 5 fM, which is approximately a 103 reduction in the limit of detection compared with existing methods, while still maintaining efficiency throughput.

Technology overview

The invention is an electrically-charged nanopipette, which exerts a force on the molecule to draw it closer to the tip. The shape and minute size of the tip, less than 50 nanometres, ensures the set up can detect single molecules.

Benefits

  • Offers a 1,000-fold improvement in detection efficiency of DNA compared with existing methods (lower limit of 1-10 fM).
  • Has the ability to sense DNA at a concentration as low as 5 fM at an event rate of 315 events per minute.
  • Faster sequence acquisition obtained by enhanced capture frequency.
  • High versatility: applicable to proteins and DNA.

Intellectual property information

Patent : EP3308139A2US20180164205A1

Inventor

Portrait of Professor Joshua Edel
Professor Joshua B. Edel

Professor of Biosensing & Analytical Sciences
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Chemistry

Visit personal site

Contact

Dr Stuart Sims

Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Executive, Natural Sciences

Dr Stuart sims is Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Executive in the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College London

Contact Stuart

s.sims@imperial.ac.uk

Related technologies

Acoustic sub-aperture processing (ASAP) for ultrasound vascular imaging

Acoustic sub-aperture processing (ASAP) for ultrasound vascular imaging

Ultrasound is one of the most commonly used clinical imaging modalities, characterized by its real-time capability, excellent safety, ... Find out more

ArterioWave – simple ultrasound-based diagnosis and monitoring of heart failure

ArterioWave – simple ultrasound-based diagnosis and monitoring of heart failure

More than 26 million people worldwide suffer from heart failure; there are around 1 million new cases annually in the US ... Find out more

Bioharmonophores for biomedical precision imaging

Bioharmonophores for biomedical precision imaging

Biodegradable, second-harmonic generating nanoprobes for targeted, high-resolution in vivo tumour imaging Find out more

Sign up for updates

Sign up for monthly technology alerts via email, and find other ways to connect with us.

Loading...