Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who recently reported that DNA-wrapped carbon nanotubes could serve as sensors in living cells now say the tiny tubes can be used to target specific DNA sequences. Potential applications for the new sensors range from rapid detection of hazardous biological agents to simpler and more efficient forensic identification.
In the Jan. 27 issue of the journal Science, chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Michael Strano and his students reported that single-walled carbon nanotubes coated with DNA could be placed in living cells and detect trace amounts of harmful contaminants. In a paper accepted for publication in the journal Nano Letters, and posted on its Web site, the researchers report they have taken the technique a significant step further.
"We have successfully demonstrated the optical detection of selective DNA hybridization on the surface of a nanotube," said Strano, who is also a researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and at the universitys Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory. "This work opens possibilities for new types of nanotube-based sensing and sequencing technologies."
James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
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