DNA Nanopores - Synthetic DNA-based Nanopores
The design of synthetic membrane channels, constructed entirely from DNA, has started only some years ago. The channels, mimicing natural protein channels, are thought to be useful in several different fields, e.g. as biomarkers, in nanofluidics or in drug-delivery processes.
A typical DNA membrane channel is assembled from several DNA double helices arranged into a polygon pattern, with the central cavity forming the transmembrane pore. To facilitate insertion of the DNA channel into a lipid bilayer membrane, the DNA helices are chemically modified to carry hydrophobic anchors. Until now, most of the DNA channels featured four or six DNA helices arranged in a square or a hexagon, with the inner channel diameter varying between 1 and 2.5 nm.