Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Selective nanofilters for proteins, DNA


A new type of nanotechnology-based filter that can separate out mixtures of biological molecules has been developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis. The technology could potentially be used, for example, to build small-scale devices for research in genomics by sorting mixtures of different proteins or DNA molecules.

The filter consists of a polycarbonate membrane etched with tiny, evenly-sized pores less than 10 nanometers -- a few billionths of an inch -- in size. The pores are lined with a thin layer of gold and then with another layer of oily molecules called thiols. The thiols spontaneously arrange themselves into a membrane one molecule deep, with all the thiol molecules pointing the same way.

These thiols are chains of carbon atoms, with a sulfur atom at one end and an acidic region at the other end. The sulfur allows the thiol to stick to the gold layer, and the acidic end can then interact with whatever flows past. The final pores are less than nine nanometers wide.

UC Davis researchers Kyoung-Yong Chun and Pieter Stroeve found that by changing the pH on either side of the membrane, they could "open" or "close" the pores to different proteins even of similar size, using a method called electrostatic screening. Existing filters can only effectively separate proteins or biological molecules of different sizes.

"The switchable technology will be important for transport on the nano-scale, particularly for nano and micro-sensing, analysis on a chip and micro-fluidic devices," Stroeve said. Another application could be in controlled drug release, supplying drugs over a period of time when the body needs it, he said.

The work is published in the June 11 issue of the journal Langmuir.

Media contacts: Pieter Stroeve, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, 530-752-8778,; Andy Fell, News Service, 530-752-4533,

Andy Fell | EurekAlert!

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Intelligent wheelchairs, predictive prostheses
20.12.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

nachricht Jelly with memory – predicting the leveling of com-mercial paints
15.12.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

21.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>