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, pstroeve@ucdavis.edu; Andy Fell, News Service, 530-752-4533, ahfell@ucdavis.edu.

Media Contact

Andy Fell EurekAlert!

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Process Engineering

This special field revolves around processes for modifying material properties (milling, cooling), composition (filtration, distillation) and type (oxidation, hydration).

Valuable information is available on a broad range of technologies including material separation, laser processes, measuring techniques and robot engineering in addition to testing methods and coating and materials analysis processes.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

High-thermoresistant biopolyimides become water-soluble like starch

This is the first report for the syntheses of water-soluble polyimides which are Interestingly derived from bio-based resources, showing high transparency, tunable mechanical strength and the highest thermoresistance in water-soluble…

Land management in forest and grasslands

How much can we intensify? A first assessment of the effects of land management on the links between biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are crucial for human…

A molecular break for root growth

The dynamic change in root growth of plants plays an important role in their adjustment to soil conditions. Depending on the location, nutrients or moisture can be found in higher…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close