Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Research Tools
Research Tools
Nanopore Antennas for Ultrahigh Speed DNA Sequencing
WARF: P140109US01

Inventors: Robert Blick, Abhishek Bhat, Paul Gwozdz

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing new nanopore antennas for analyzing DNA, RNA and other long molecules.
‘Nanopore sequencing’ allows a single molecule such as DNA to be analyzed without conventional tools like chemical labels or costly optical instruments. In the process, DNA strands and a stream of ions are driven through a nanoscale pore in a device. Each nucleotide base of the DNA strand passes individually through the pore and obstructs the flow of ions to a different, characteristic degree.

Ideally, measuring the changes in ion flow would enable the DNA strand to be sequenced one base at a time. However, these electrical fluctuations are very small and rapid, and existing devices do not have the resolution to deliver very reliable measurements. In fact, sequencing speed has to be reduced drastically because the recording mechanisms are simply not fast enough.

Looking for a solution, UW–Madison researchers developed several technical strategies to enable sequencing at radiofrequency speeds for the first time (see WARF reference numbers P07084US and P130074US01).
The Invention
Building on their work, the researchers have now developed metallic nanopores for ultrahigh speed molecule sequencing. The new nanopores are electrically conductive and function as antennas, transmitting radiofrequency signals with utmost precision.

Unlike competing technology, the nanopores feature both genetically and electrically engineered components. They can be constructed of DNA attached with metal particles to enhance electromagnetic wave reception. This is achieved by replacing the side chains of the DNA molecule with sulfur groups that in turn link to gold particles. Metalized DNA strands or ‘arms’ can be added to increase antenna size and tune polarization.
  • Nanopore antennas for sequencing DNA, RNA, peptides and other molecules
Key Benefits
  • Faster analysis
  • Highly sensitive
  • Can isolate and analyze individual molecular strands
Additional Information
Related Intellectual Property
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Gottwald at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9854