Professor Xia Fan’s research team in School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, HUST made new headway in their research on biological nano-materials. On March 25th, the paper “Target-Specific 3D DNA Gatekeepers for Biomimetic Nanopores” was published in Advanced Materials (Adv. Mater.,2015,27,2090–2095).

Following the Waston-Crick base pairing, Professor Xia Fan’s team constructed a new cross-linked high-density 3D structure DNA and made it self-assemble in the nanopore system. Because the 3D Structure DNA contains “n+1” sticky ends, it compensated the disadvantages that simple structured nucleic acid probes have while self assembling in the nanopore- such as non-vertical growth, lodging, termination of cohesive terminus. Such 3D structure DNAs have very excellent gating quality in different pore diameters (30 nm-650nm) especially in relatively large pores. With the pore diameter ranging from 270 nm to 650 nm, the ON-OFF ratio maintains between 103-105. The system can perform the switching process with the stimulus of different molecules (small molecule ATP and Protein DNA enzyme). During the switching process, adding diluted organic reagent (ethanol) to the system can help accelerate the switching speed. The high-performance nano-fluid gating system control by DNA will be of great application value in biological analysis and the construction of high signal-to-noise ratio smart nano-devices. 

It’s introduced that since 2012, Xia Fan’s team has begun to conduct the research on the interaction of biomolecules (nucleic acid )  in Nano-limited spaces. Through the modification of nanopore with the special nucleic acid probe containing ATP aptamers, they have succeeded in constructing the highly efficient smart Nano-fluid gating system.(J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 15395− 15401)

In 2013, by modifying the man-made solid nanopore with the nucleic acid probe which can assemble itself to form a super sandwich structure, Professor Xia Fan’s research team constructed the nanopore sensing platform, which achieved the highly selective and sensitive dual-detection of the target probe and the small molecule (ATP) in the same system. For the small molecules, the detection limit is respectively 10fM and 1nM. Moreover, this kind of test can still work very well in multi-component mixtures and complicated biological samples. (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 2007–2011)

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